Ecology Essay Sample Paper on Housing in Los Angeles

Housing in Los Angeles

Abstract

The Tiny house/apartment model is aimed at maximizing the use of limited space for small houses. In most cases, poor people are seen to live in small houses that limit the acquisition of household’s items. This is deemed to change with the new initiative geared to solve the problem of limited space in a classy way. It is possible to live in a small space and still afford luxury with the application of the tiny model of housing. In a bigger picture, the model is a possible solution to the land problems in cities such as New York and Los Angeles. This is because of the fact that land for development is becoming a challenge with the increasing population. Government should embrace this kind of development that reflects and facilitates the modern way of life. In addition, it reduces the costs of living for many people living in densely populated areas.

Therefore, the paper concentrates on the factors that forces people to live in small spaces in Los Angeles. Specifically, it will explain the economic pressure, consumer culture, and social class associated with small space. The reason for focusing on these issues is because they are the influential factors that make people adopt a decision about where and how to settle down and live. This will go hand in hand with the application of the model which is not only efficient but also effective. Lego-apartment model has a lot to offer to these communities and government as well. The reason behind this is that people are in a position to afford a decent life while living in a small space. This means that most of the challenges associated with scarcity of resources such as land will eventually be outdated.

Housing in Los Angeles

Introduction

The housing sector in Los Angeles has experienced many challenges due to the increase in demand for houses by the ever increasing population. Los Angeles is one of the cities in the world where rental houses are very expensive. Tenants find a hard time in securing a spacious rental houses in this area either for business or domestic use. The few available ones goes for a higher price an action that forces people to look for smaller houses an example of single rooms and bedsitters. It is estimated that tenants spend 47% of gross income in paying for rent. This leaves them with little money for food and other expenses such as transportation and personal development. House development has been slow due to restrictive zoning. This has seen over 78% of the land in the hands of single families who build residential houses. The situation has prolonged since 1940 when zoning laws was enacted. It denies developer a chance to erect high rise building that would house many families. In so doing, the area experiences upsurge of slums that act as hiding places for thieves and robbers. Insecurity in the region has been at stake due to increased unemployment rate (Sloane, 2012). New developers have been at logger head with the locals who protest their initiatives. One of such project that has been halted because of local protest is a project in Posta vista for 676 homes. The local community sued Posta vista investors through California environmental quality act (CEQA) for environmental violation which led to the closure of the endeavor (Sloane, 2012).

This paper will discuss the economic pressure, social class and change in consumer culture for people living in Los Angeles. The study will be conducted through the review of government records and data collected.

Background Information

There are several factors that are associated to limited space in cities. Some of these factors culminate from economic welfare of individuals while others come from the political front. Some of these factors are discussed below:.

A. Economic Pressure

Twenty two percent of workers who earn low wages are employed in manufacturing industries, information industries and wholesale trade. These workers earn a maximum of $15 an hour. Most of the goods produced in the manufacturing industries are transported outside the city to other destinations. However, a good number of the residence are involved in small businesses such as hotels and retail trade enterprises. Due to low wages, most of the workers opt to rent small houses that can fit into their budget (Sloane, 2012). This is the reason as to why most people in Los Angeles live in small houses/apartment. Consequently, prices of goods and services is high an action that make many families to live below the poverty line.

 Eventually it increases demand for essential commodities. Supply decreases while price goes up not only for basic commodities but also for rental houses. Therefore, they work for long hours to sustain their families by putting food on the table. Disposable income for poor families is at the lowest level forcing them to live in deplorable conditions. This is deemed to change with the new initiative of tiny apartment model discussed later in the text. Information on employment status in Los Angeles is represented in the diagram below:

Effects_of_a_15_minimum_wage_img_02

Figure1 represents employment data for workers

From the diagram above, a bigger percentage of people are engaged in retail trade followed by hotel industrial all the way to the least employer which is the government and other business utilities. This means that government spending is at the lower edge. Inversely, the economy is affected by this situation because government spending on development projects instigates economic activities geared towards development and service delivery.

B. Consumer Culture

Consumption is a dynamic aspect of human life that is affected by income disparities amongst the community members. However, in some cases members from some sections of the community exhibit a similar trend in their shopping behavior (Shipler, 2013). This creates a lot of concerns for business organization that aim at maximizing profit from business activities in rendering services and goods to the public. A trend of leisure and creativity is emerging in the business world. People are demanding for innovative service delivery where services are customer oriented. Many companies in the region are forced to use technology platforms such as amazon.com to facilitate business undertakings. Consumers are carrying out all their shopping activities online. The reason as to why consumers opt for these platforms is because they are busy all the time and has little time left for shopping. Art is another field that takes a bigger part for Los Angeles lifestyle in defining the culture of residents.

 The city hosts the oldest theatres in the country that has produced and natured a lot of talents meant for global market. Some of the actors have made significant contribution in the industry and community as well. Consumers have changed their lifestyle in such a manner that they seek for comfortably at all cost. This is a way of coping with the recent development amid cutting the cost of living. The idea is pegged on the philosophy that a home is not a house. Hence a home is necessarily not a four walled house rather it can be a vehicle or camping tents. Small houses are being turned into comfort paradise with the new innovation of the Lego house model. It is aimed at redefining the way people live as well as utilize small spaces. Below is a picture of Fox Plaza in Los Angeles.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Foxyplaza.jpg/220px-Foxyplaza.jpg

Figure 2 shows Fox Plaza.

This building houses 20th Century Fox headquarters. It is one of the buildings that were commissioned to promote talents of the locals. Through acting, the region’s culture has been affected a great deal (Shipler, 2013).

C. Social Class

Social classes in L.A (Los Angeles) are characterized by four layers of people’s diversity. These layers include internal dimension, organization dimension, personality and external dimension. Personality dimension includes people diversification based on the work they perform. High-income earners work in technology firms, art, media, law, entertainment, healthcare professions and cultural in situations. They are highly skilled workers earning an income of $80,859 annually (Shipler, 2013).

They form the creative class in the society and live in spacious houses. People in this category live luxuriously where they go for high-end commodities such as luxurious houses and cars. The next category is the service class that incorporates the middle level income earners and a small percentage of high-end income workers. Individuals in the category are in a position to meet their daily needs comfortably. They are less sensitive to price changes for goods and services because an increase in prices does not affect their livelihood in a bigger way. Thirdly, we have the working class which is engaged in factory jobs, construction and transportation jobs. Their average earning stands at $37,066 and comprises of 19.5% of the total population.

 Economically, they struggle to make ends meet by working longer hours. The last category is the low class which lives below the poverty line. Socially, this group consists of unemployed people and the youths who perform casual jobs in the informal sector. Mostly they rely on government aids meant for the needy. Internal dimension deals with the livelihood in the domestic setup while the external dimension focuses on the material welfare. Organization dimension on the other hand specializes in the community wealth that is used to trigger development by the central government. Because most of the residents who live in the regions are poor, there is need to improvise new way that will redefine comfort in venerable places. Such initiatives have been going on for a long time but with the new tiny apartment initiatives things are deemed to change in the near future (Pitt, 2014).

Recent Development in Housing

Shopping malls and business apartment are being erected in the city despite locals and environmentalist protest. Locals are afraid that the natural vegetation will be affected by the new development in town. Environmentalist on their side argues that the in habitat in the region will be rendered homeless at the same time affecting the natural geographic. Economist on the other side buys the idea of developing the city because it will create value for money as well as utilizing the resources available. However, coding has hindered development of skyscrapers and estates for commercial and domestic use. Engineers and architectural specialists in towns are now developing new way of utilizing the available space maximally. Recent debates have shown the need to have a model that will help the poor afford a good life at their own comfort. This means that they will be able to use the available space for various purposes while at the same time enjoying the comfort. The encounter will be affordable to individuals earning low income in the sense that they only develop what they have in a scientific manner. Technology is applied intensively in the model to facilitate efficiency and effectiveness. Natural phenomena such as earthquake, technirati and fire have discouraged massive development of high buildings on land (Pitt, 2014).

Lego Apartment Housing Model

The model begins by planning and restructuring the house in a manner that create space for other uses. One of the beneficiaries of such initiatives is Christian Schallert. When one gets into the house, the first thing to spot is the pieces of furniture on one side of the wall. The bed is on the lower side of the stair cases that acts as a bench. Refrigerator, freezer, culturally, sink, microwave oven and double burner are in one compartment. One of the plank acts as a dining table while a television is inscribed in the wall. In addition, the room is also tidy and manageable. This is the case with pigeon loft in Barcelona that was remodeled by Christian and Barbara Appolloni. Lego model is very attractive and simple to manage a house with small space (Kirsten Dirksen, 2015).

Technically, poor families are bound to benefit from reduced expenses in terms of rent and cost of living. The model uses cardboards that are joined together with hedges. Each compartment carries an item that is essential for daily use. The toilet on the other hand is given ample space to be used by one person at a time. Therefore, the model is an ideal strategy that is aimed at reducing the cost of housing for the venerable community as well as the low income employees who live below the country’s poverty levels. The endeavor is a positive move towards the future for Los Angeles that is also cost effective in nature. It is expected that Los Angeles government will be willing to support the initiative as an attempt of alleviating poverty in deplorable regions where lifestyle poses danger to the health matters (Pitt, 2014).

Recommendations

Through our findings, we are confidence to recommend that government agencies and non-governmental agencies fighting poverty in the country require embracing the model. It is beneficial to both government and community. Government spending on infrastructural development is reduced by a great deal in the event the available infrastructures are put into good use. This allows funds budgeted for these projects to be used for other purpose that yields additional income for the state. Consequently, individual’s members in the society benefit in many way. First, they achieve comfort from the application of the innovative strategy while still living within their means. It reduces time spent arranging the house in the morning or at night by the housekeepers when used in corporate institutions. Hence, the project is deemed to bring change to families which change the community eventually changing government in a positive manner (Pitt, 2014).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is clear that Los Angeles is struggling to host its population in a decent housing program. This demands that new methods and diverse ways be implemented in solving the problem at hand by the concerned parties in order to have a more formidable solution. In the long run, the bridge between the super rich and the poor will be narrowed down in considering that the cost of housing has gone down. In some cases, government is seen to increase taxes to the rich as a way of bridging the gap an act that create discrimination between the two social classes. The move is faced with opposition from economists. Some of the arguments they put forth insinuate that government need to increase its spending in order to solve social problems. Rich individuals have huge amount of disposable income to spend on luxurious goods. In the event they are taxed more than the poor are, they tend to minimize spending an action that hurts the economy. Los Angeles being a tourist hub should ensure that all the cultural amenities are utilized for to the benefit of government. Moreover, there are a lot of untapped talents and resources that are economically viable. Coding by the government denies the economy an opportunity to expand. The bucks stop with the government as it has the power to reclaim some of the land for recreational facilities and business complex buildings. It has the authority to use its eminent domain power in such cases. These kinds of actions help many county governments struggling financially to avert the ordeal by using private land for development projects.

References

Christensen, David E. Urban Development. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2013. Print.

Halle, David, and Andrew A. Beveridge. New York and Los Angeles: The Uncertain Future. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. Print.

Kirsten Dirksen. (2015, April 10). Lego-style apartment transforms into infinite spaces – videos – faircompanies. Retrieved from http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/lego-style-apartment-transforms-into-infinite-spaces/

Ong  Paul M, and Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris. Jobs and Economic Development in Minority Communities. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 2012. Print.

Pitt, L. (2014). California controversies: Major issues in the history of the State. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman.

Shipler, D. K. (2013). The working poor: Invisible in America. New York: Knopf.

Sloane, D. C. (2012). Planning Los Angeles. Chicago: American Planning Association.