Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a town hall in Northridge at the Temple Ahavat Shalom Tuesday for those in the community to voice their concerns on rent control housing, homelessness and gentrification in Los Angeles.

L.A.  has the least affordable housing market in the United States and the city’s homeless problem only continues to get worse, as the city saw a 12 percent rise in homelessness from 2018. Residents in the L.A. county wanted to know what Senator Sanders would do as president to fix the crisis. 

“This issue of affordable housing also of course ties with wages,” Sanders said in the town hall meeting. “When we talk about affordable housing, we are also talking about raising the minimum wage to a living wage.” 

According to Sanders, gentrification in L.A. leads to rent increases for tenants, and in some cases, forcing families out of neighborhoods they grew up in. 

“It is not acceptable that wealthy developers in Los Angeles County and throughout the country, are gentrifying neighborhoods,” said Sanders. “People throughout America, this is the neighborhood that they love and now they are forced out those neighborhoods and being replaced with folks who can afford expensive condominiums.” 

Sanders spoke for about 17 minutes before taking questions from community members on these issues. 

Larry Gross, an executive director of the coalition for economic survival, who was at the town hall meeting was pleased that there was a presidential candidate discussing affordable housing. 

“He would overhaul the Department of Housing and Urban Development which now is cutting funds and pushing people on the streets,” said Gross. “The federal government needs to have our back and have the commitment to ensure that everybody in this country has a roof over their heads and I think Bernie Sanders will do that.” 

Sanders took questions from the audience for an hour before heading off to Long Beach for a campaign rally. 

Sanders will be in Iowa on August 10, for a gun prevention forum taking place in the city of Des Moines.

Written ByJorge Ventura

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