A proposed West Hollywood complex would transform a large building — formerly home to ICM — into housing. The complex would expand and renovate the existing building into an apartment complex that would include a pool and a gym, but only for certain residents.
The developers at 8899 Beverly have plans to incorporate affordable housing for very low and moderate incomes. These tenants would live in what is otherwise being marketed as an upscale building, but would not have access to amenities like the pool and gym. West Hollywood residents are outraged, saying that the city’s version of “poor doors” is economic segregation.
Pushback to similar measures in New York that required low income residents to use special back doors were similarly ill-received. Proponents of the project say that more affordable housing is good, in any form, and some have even proposed an optional “user fee” for extra amenities for all residents.
What’s the best way to incorporate affordable housing into a project like this one? Is it fair to bar low-income residents from high-priced amenities in the building where they live?
Richard Green, Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy