COVID-19 Neighborhood Profiles
Although COVID-19 is an issue affecting people around the United States and the globe, its impact differs widely across local communities and neighborhoods. Air quality, population density, and access to resources like hospitals and testing centers are just a few of the factors that impact the severity of cases and deaths in a community. Additionally, the pandemic has had wide reaching impacts on important factors outside of health like employment, housing, food access, and education.
These neighborhood profiles highlight the intersections of COVID-19 and other social and economic indicators in specific neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. They are a feature of the NDSC COVID-19 Dashboard.
Westlake & Housing Vulnerability
Many of Los Angeles’ majority renter population were feeling the pressure of the region’s housing crisis, which has been fueled by rising rents and stagnant wages, well before the pandemic. However, the economic and health fallout from the pandemic and subsequent shutdown are expected to put additional pressure on many of the county’s renters.
As of July 23,2020, Westlake, a neighborhood just west of Downtown LA, had the highest COVID-19 cases (2,865) and the highest COVID-19 related deaths (143) of any neighborhood in the city of LA. Westlake also has some of the most cramped living conditions in the country. 38% of households are considered to be living in overcrowded housing, with more than one person per one room, compared to an average of 11% across the county. Overcrowded housing has been found to correlate with higher infections rates per capita and can put residents at greater risk of contracting the virus. Additionally, overcrowding is a result of the city’s housing crisis that has more and more families doubling up, living with relatives etc. Over 95% of households in Westlake rent (rather than own) their housing, and 59% of renters in the neighborhood are considered to be rent-burdened, meaning that they pay more than a third of their income on rent. 30% are considered severely rent-burdened, paying more than half of their income on rent.
The chart to the right shows overcrowding rates in Westlake and 9 other neighborhoods experiencing some of the highest COVID-19 case rates. Select your neighborhood from the menu to add it to the chart.
59% of the population in Westlake are immigrants, 73% of which are non-citizens, meaning that many of these residents have been left out of unemployment benefits and COVID-related relief programs. The economic impacts of COVID-19 are expected to place many residents of the neighborhood in imminent danger of eviction once certain protections such as the County’s moratorium on evictions, which has been extended through September, are lifted.