— S. Schlachtenhaufen (@Steffen_Schlach) March 26, 2016
An incredibly tone deaf sign posted outside of a Highland Park home under construction has been getting plenty of attention today, as social media users have been reposting images of the sign as a symbol of the ongoing gentrification wars in one of Los Angeles’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods.
As Eastsider LA reports, the sign was posted by frustrated contractor Roger Scalise, who was apparently tired of receiving noise complaints from fed up neighbors. In its full text, the sign reads:
PLEASE Be PATIENT we are almost done. Instead of COMPLAINING you should be thanking Nikki and Jeremy the owners of this house for bring [sic] UP your PROPERTY VALUE. Have a NICE Day.
TV writer Steffen Schlachtenhaufen was one of the first to weigh in on Scalise’s words of advice (above). Subsequent commenters were a little less measured in their criticism of the condescending and erratically capitalized message.
Thank the nice white people for bringing up home values in the barrio (that you can no longer afford) https://t.co/wLSuzc7ieL
— Dennis Romero (@dennisjromero) March 29, 2016
— Two Ravens (@TATTWORAVENS) March 29, 2016
As LAist points out, a sign asking for neighbors to be grateful for rising housing values is bound to touch a nerve in a neighborhood where longtime renters are being priced out, and in many cases evicted as landlords sell high on buildings that have seen enormous surges in value recently.
All the commotion seems to have inspired homeowner Jeremy Buchan to issue a response. In a tweeted reply to Schlachtenhaufen, Buchan says that the story behind the sign is complicated, but that it will be coming down. Apparently conscious of the sign’s gentrification connotations, he was also quick to point out that his wife has lived in the home for the past 30 years.