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Housing is so expensive in Southern California that scriptwriters, actors, grips, and other entertainment industry workers now live in vans. In fact, so many people are living in vans there are social media groups for van residents.
The entertainment workers in Hollywood live in vans because of sky-high rents in Los Angeles, The Hollywood Reporter reveals. For example, it can cost $600 a month to rent a room in a house or apartment in LA.
As a result, entertainment industry workers such as production assistants now have to live in vans. Astonishingly, many of the entertainment workers living in vans are not even poor. In particular, Salary.com estimates that the average production assistant earns $31,062 a year.
Yet, the average rent for a 502 square-foot studio apartment in LA is $1,622 per month, RENTCafe calculates. Meanwhile, the average 704 square-foot, single bedroom apartment in Los Angeles rents for $2,068 per month.
Entertainment Workers In Hollywood Live In Vans
Currently, 15,748 people are living in 9,117 vehicles on LA’s streets, The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority asserts.
Furthermore, so many workers live in vans in Los Angeles that there is a nonprofit group helping them. Specifically, Safe Parking LA operates special, guarded parking lots where people can safely sleep in their rides.
Beyond Safe Parking LA, Facebook groups like Sprinters California United and Cheap RV Living support the urban nomads. To clarify, the Mercedes Benz Sprinter is a large work van favored by urban nomads. Other popular homes on wheels include the Ford Transit and the Ram ProMaster.
California Will Not Build Apartments So Workers Live In Vans
California workers live in vans because zoning, bureaucrats, local governments, and homeowner groups block any effort to construct apartments.
For instance, Robert Tillman has spent five years and nearly $1 million trying to build a 75-unit apartment house in San Francisco. Particularly, Reason charges that the San Francisco planning commission keeps adding new restrictions to prevent Tillman from building.
“It’s taken me longer to get to this point than it took for the United States to win World War II,” Tillman complains. Tillman has been trying to tear down his laundromat and build an apartment house on the site since 2014.
Workers Live In Vans Because It Is Impossible To Build Affordable Housing
Oddly enough, Tillman began planning apartments so his daughter can afford to move back to her hometown.
Instead of welcoming affordable housing, neighborhood groups objected and claimed that the proposed 85-foot tall building is too high. Notably, even the local “Latino Cultural District” is opposing Tillman’s plans.
In addition, the city planning department keeps adding costs to the project. For instance, the department requires a $5,000 “shadow study” and a $6,500 “wind study.”
Moreover, the department claims Tillman’s laundromat is a historic building. The building could be historic because it once contained a mural of Latina women. Nonetheless, no one objected when they removed or destroyed the mural years ago.
Workers Live In Vans Because Democrats Oppose Affordable Housing
California Democrats also oppose legislation to make it easier to build affordable housing.
As an illustration, the Democratic majority in California’s state legislature killed Senate Bill (SB) 827 in April 2018. SB 827 would have made it easier to build high-density housing near transit stations in California.
Notwithstanding, progressive groups including the Sierra Club lobbied against SB 827, as American Conservative writer James P. Pinkerton observes. Curiously, the vice mayor of Beverly Hills joined environmentalists in opposition to SB 827.
California progressives oppose high-density housing (apartments) because such structures could lower their property values, Pinkerton charges. Moreover, a liberal Democrat, Assembly Member Scott Weiner (San Francisco), originally introduced SB 827. Weiner was trying to provide homes for his constituents, but his fellow Democrats were more concerned about property values.
Much Like Entertainment Workers In Hollywood, Workers Sleep In Vans In Nevada Too
Workers sleep in vans because of housing shortages in other states as well. For example, workers are sleeping in vehicles in the parking lot at Tesla’s high tech Gigafactory.
Workers sleep in vans and RVs in the Gigafactory parking lot in Storey County, Nevada, since there is no housing nearby, Business Insider reports. The Gigafactory is the giant plant where Tesla builds batteries for electric vehicles and solar power systems.
Unlike LA’s entertainment moguls, Telsa boss Elon Musk is at least trying to help his workers find a place to live. In particular, the billionaire is trying to get permission to build a mobile-home park at the Gigafactory, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Workers live in vans all over the country because of America’s housing shortage. Consequently, workers will live in vans as long as the government prevents entrepreneurs from constructing affordable housing.
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