Isla Vista From the Inside Out
A look at environmental effects on housing and the overall neglect of what could be a beautiful beach town.
Pictured above are some of the beautiful views that can be seen when walking through the streets of Isla Vista on a sunny day. What many outside wanderers may not be aware of are the serious and potentially dangerous problems that are occurring because of inevitable environmental effects, and overall neglect by property owners.
Many houses in Isla Vista are located right on the edge of a 15–20 foot cliff. Overtime, this cliff has eroded and multiple houses are now hanging over it. Little to nothing has been done to keep these houses sturdy, and even the cement holding them up is slowly wearing away. With such conditions, it is clear these houses will not be standing up much longer. They are a danger to the students residing inside them, and the beaches that they overlook.
To the left, is part of metal post that was originally used to stabilize a concrete foundation. This chunk of metal and concrete is no longer serving a purpose, and instead polluting the beaches that make up the Isla Vista coastline.
What happens when these cliffs erode onto the beach? Trash goes with it. Yes, students must get better at doing their part, but much of it is out of their control. Housing units are being neglected by realty companies and students are in danger of what could come of this.
Unfortunately, weathering and erosion are not the only environmental impacts that are effecting these houses. Because Isla Vista is feet away from the ocean, there is a lot of moisture in the air, which can cause for mold to grow throughout houses. If mold is neglected, it can spread rapidly and have serious effects on ones health.
“I have lived in Isla Vista for four years, and every single house that I have lived in has had mold in more than one place. It scares me because I know there’s not much I can about it, but I am aware of the longterm effects it can have on my health” Hanna Hairabedian, local Isla Vista resident.
When walking into Hanna’s house, it was clear that she and her roommates have been experiencing much in the way of neglect from their property management. Weathering, erosion, and mold are bound to occur in small beach towns, but what can be done to prevent that? Routine check-ups, sturdier foundations, and in some cases new housing. Below are two examples of new housing complexes that have been built over the last five years. These units are located further away from the unstable cliffs, and have modern and routine renovations.
The overall neglect of Isla Vista housing has the potential to become even more unsafe then years past. Environmental effects have taken their toll on these outdated houses, and property managers are not giving them the attention they need. As humans, we cannot change the environmental wear on our towns, but we can change the way we react and adapt to such situations.
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