West Hollywood is a small city geographically; in total we’re less than 2 square miles in size. But our influence and impact is limitless. For 30 years now, “WeHo,” as it’s been affectionately called since its founding, has been a beacon of progressive values and economic innovation for not just the L.A. region but the state, country and planet as a whole.
We’re known primarily as one of the last true gay villages in the country. But slowly that aspect of our identity is beginning to fade away. Just as in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco and Greenwich Village in New York, the crisis of rising rents has begun to eat away at the uniquely diverse community that makes us special, that makes us great. The fact is that gay residents and the businesses they own are being priced out.
Some say this trend isn’t real, that it isn’t happening, but when you look at the fact that a one-bedroom apartment at The Huxley, a new development on the east side (the less developed side of West Hollywood) now costs $2,300, it’s hard to come to that conclusion. When you look at the fact that various gay small businesses such as Block Party on Santa Monica Boulevard have had to move away or close down completely because it’s just too expensive to stay open, clearly there’s something wrong with the direction we’re going in.
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