Porter Ranch: Gas Leaks and the Housing Market

I have lived in Porter Ranch for most of my life. I moved here when I was three years old and, for the most part, it has been everything a middle-class Jew could hope for growing up. There are a few parks, all of them beautifully maintained, the local schools are perennial overachievers in state testing, and the neighborhoods are as friendly as they come.

My family is of mixed origins. My mother’s side originally came to the United States from Russia, though this was at least four or five generations back. My father was actually born in Argentina, though he left on a boat for New York with his brother and mother at six months old. So realistically, my father was raised in America.

My mother and father at the Space Needle in Seattle

The city of Porter Ranch is as suburban as it gets, but not the traditional white picket fence homes that are shown in the movies. The houses are mostly two-stories and above average backyards. The median income per home is just over $100,000 and only 7% of the people are living below the poverty line, according to Census Reporter. That makes it, if you ask me, somewhere between middle-class and upper-class.

When it comes to the culture of the neighborhoods, two definitely stand out: White and Asian at 47 and 37 percent, respectively, again according to Census Reporter. Hispanics make up another small portion of the city at 15 percent, with the rest of the population being a mix of different cultures and ethnicities. Many of these people have lived in America for a few generations, though the Asian population does seem to be somewhat foreign-born, with 73% immigrating from Asia. This large influx of Asian immigrants does not seem to be a problem for the city, as many of them tend to be more on the wealthy side.

Despite all of the good aspects of living in Porter Ranch, there is one major downside. About two years ago, a gas line had a major leak in the surrounding area, causing the air to become heavily polluted. This caused a large amount of families to sue the gas company and move in to temporary housing so as to escape the pollution.

Unfortunately, this problem is still ongoing. People still complain about sickness and lung trouble. As the article above says, there are still methane leaks that cause multiple health issues and some people are afraid to move back. It is causing housing prices to drop even amid the rising economy. Hopefully this issue is resolved in the near future and Porter Ranch can return to its normal state.

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