LA councilmen push for subsidized artists’ housing

Gentrification has pushed many creative folks out of Venice and the Arts District

One Santa Fe (Credit: One Santa Fe)
One Santa Fe (Credit: One Santa Fe)

What’s the Arts District without its artists?

Council members Jose Huizar and Mike Bonin are pushing to create an affordable housing program for LA artists to receive subsidized housing amid an exodus brought on by rising rents, Southern California Public Radio reported.

Huizar represents the Downtown Arts District while Bonin represents Venice — two areas known for their colorful murals, artistic flair and skyrocketing rents.

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Nearly 65 to 70 percent of the artists who were living in the Arts District 15 years ago have been pushed out, artist Jonathan Jerald, co-founder of the Arts District Center for the Arts, recently told the City Council Planning and Land Use Management Committee. Another artist stated that the Santa Fe Art Colony at 2421 Santa Fe Avenue also stopped offering rent-restricted housing for artists.

But substantial hurdles lie ahead. Officials would first have to commission a study to determine whether the artists deserve such special treatment, according to deputy city attorney. There are also state and federal laws that would have to be taken into account.

The Arts District has recently been a hot spot for developers. Hillcrest Company is scheduled to deliver 57-unit live/work lofts by next year at 1745 E. 7th Street. Meanwhile, Greystar is underway on a mixed-use project, slated to deliver 320 units, at 695 S. Santa Fe Avenue. [SCPR]Natalie Hoberman

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