Annual May Day demonstration sparks conversations on social change

Long Beach residents marched for their rights as workers for International Workers’ Day.

Housing near Long Beach State is highest in the city

As Long Beach State welcomes thousands of students back to campus for another year of higher education, students may be looking to live closer to campus. Housing is the most expensive near the university, according to data from rent market trends website Rent Jungle. Seventy-five percent of students commute from home, according to the university’s 2016-2017 Common Data Set. Some students cite soaring rental rates in the city as the reason that they do not live closer to the university. Laura Leyva, a senior majoring in civil engineering, said that she’s looked into moving out of her parents’ house so she could focus more on school. However, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment in Long Beach is about $1,800. “I live with my parents, and I think that’s pretty much the only choice that people have that live in Long Beach,” Leyva said. “There’s just no place for us students, and it’s just not possible with a minimum wage job.” Rent Jungle data states that the most expensive places to rent are near the university, downtown and the Naples-Marina area. The average cost of renting near the school is $2,650 a month, whereas the average cost to rent elsewhere

Long Beach City Council to be confronted by rent-control rally

Advocates in Long Beach plan to pack city council Tuesday to voice their opinions on whether rent control is needed in the city. Both upholders and opposers of rent control are expected to rally before the council reviews an ordinance on the issue. The rally will take place outside of city hall preceding the city council meeting at 4:30 p.m. March 20. The pro-rent control rally is hosted by Housing Long Beach, Latinos in Action California, Long Beach Tenants Union, Greater Long Beach Interface and Long Beach Gray Panthers. Meanwhile, Better Housing for Long Beach plans to hold a protest concurrent to the pro-rent control rally. Currently, Long Beach consists of 60 percent voters. Last January, the city attorney's office confirmed the Long Beach Rent Control Ordinance to create residential rent control protections. The confirmation allowed housing proponents to begin a signature collection for a rent control ballot initiative. For Tuesday's meeting, council members are planning to ask questions on the proposed ballot measure including if the ordinance would result in new fees and how it aims to protect homeowners. The rent control issue has been one of contention among the Long Beach community with residents split on the issue.

By | 2018-03-19T10:54:45-07:00 Mar 19, 2018 | 10:54 am|Categories: Long Beach, News, Today|Tags: , , , , , |

Long Beach housing crisis on the rise

As California’s economy continues to rise, the cost of living in Long Beach has steadily increased by 30 percent over the past three years. According to Housing Long Beach representative Benyamin Chao, in a major city where 60 percent of residents rent, this creates major problems for the community. According to Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes, poverty in California is the state’s number one issue because it has the highest poverty rate in the nation. Rent Cafe, a website that investigates the average rent market trends, states that the average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Long Beach is $1,688. Housing Long Beach is an organization that fights for rent control in the city, according to Chao, who was representing the group at Cal State Long Beach’s Week of Welcome. Their goal is to combat the rising number of displaced residents by getting rent protection measures on the November 2018 ballot. “One thing we want from rent control measures is to avoid landlords being able to evict people without notice,” Chao said. “In most major cities, landlords have to give reason for eviction, but not in Long Beach.” The group not only aims to lower housing prices, but they

High Risin’: Long Beach residents face housing problems

Neighborhoods that once housed artists, Cambodian refugees and other communities that make Long Beach the second most diverse city in America are undergoing renovation that some say are taking the international out of the “International City.” “You’re turning the entire area into a bastion of the wealthy,” Housing Long Beach director Josh Butler said. Housing Long Beach is an renter’s advocacy group that works with city legislation and community members.  “Right now in Long Beach we are seeing people forced out through the development of high-rise luxury housing.” Mayor Robert Garcia recently said in his State of the City address that Long Beach will be a “construction zone” in 2017, with plenty of new residential high rises and retail developments planned to start across the city. In February, Long Beach City Council approved a proposal from development firm Preface to build 40 single-family homes that are expected to be listed somewhere between $700,000 and $900,000 in East Long Beach. This decision, along with the surge in luxury projects like The Current and Parc Broadway, two luxury developments located downtown, and northern Long Beach’s Riverwalk, indicate that the mayor is serious about his promise to bring development to all areas of

By | 2017-04-05T21:16:23-07:00 Apr 5, 2017 | 6:17 pm|Categories: Long Beach, News, Showcase|Tags: , , , |

Long Beach councilwoman supports strengthening Mello Act

In the face of soaring rent fees and a shortage of homes that leaves many on the streets, Long Beach Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce has supported strengthening the Mello Act in order to help provide more affordable housing. Pearce, who oversees District 2 in Long Beach, said at a City Council meeting on Feb. 21 that the city needs to identify a funding source for affordable housing production, which the Mello Act can help do. District 2 includes a significant portion of the coastal zone in Long Beach, which stretches from the Pike to the San Gabriel River and as far into the city as the Colorado Lagoon. The Mello Act, also known as section 65590 of the California Government Code, seeks to preserve and increase affordable housing in California’s coastal zone, which consists of land that is 1,000 yards from the sea’s main high tide line and includes seaward areas until the state’s outer limit of jurisdiction. Though Cal State Long Beach is not within the coastal zone, many housing units seaward from campus are. “A critical part of addressing our city’s housing crisis is not only producing more affordable units, but preserving the affordability of our current ones,” Pearce

By | 2017-03-07T20:56:39-07:00 Mar 7, 2017 | 8:56 pm|Categories: Long Beach, News|Tags: , , , , |