The frontman of a popular Californian rock band has used his Instagram account to announce that he has flipped eight apartments in a trendy area in Los Angeles, and would be renting them out for over $1000 a week.
Nathan Williams, the frontman of pop punk group Wavves used his Instagram account to announce that the properties were available for lease.
And while he’s received interest in the “rehabbing” projects, saying some of the one bedroom apartments have already been rented, the post has attracted over 800 comments, many of them negative. The performer has been called a “gentrifier” and accused of taking away valuable housing from low income families.
“My apartments in Silver Lake are officially up for lease! Completely rehabbed. There’s 8 total but a few have already been leased as of this morning,” Williams wrote.
“If you’re in the LA area and interested or have a friend that needs a place let them know. 1 bed 1 bath. $4,170 ($US2995) a month.
“We’re also still in the process of rehabbing more multi family units in Glassell Park which should be done very soon. Once those are up for lease I’ll post them as well.”
The upbeat rocker, who writes hits like, “King of the Beach” was likely unprepared for the aggressive response his post attracted.
“Whoa this is f****** low,” wrote one commenter.
“Get out of my neighbourhood and stop making it expensive,” wrote another.
His fans took issue with Williams on a number of fronts, with many of them claiming he was overcharging for the area and engaging in “gentrification”.
Mr Williams argued he was just “investing money” and the prices were based on the market value.
Others straight out accused him of acts of “class warfare”, saying owning property should be “illegal”.
Owning land you don’t live on when there are homeless people on the streets is an act of class warfare and should be illegal.
— 🤠 sheck western 🤠 (@Saint_Rothko) January 26, 2019
“Gentrifications is a real f****** thing and you do s*** like this!? People (are) getting kicked out of their homes because of s*** like this,” One commenter wrote on Instagram.
You don’t know s*** about being punk and will never be punk! (Why) don’t you ever donate to queer black homeless in LA? How the f*** r u going to make a joke that (people) can just Venmo or cash app you when you know you got money saved up.”
“(Why) don’t you share GoFundMe and venmoes (SIC) of starving musicians that actually give a f*** about their community???”
“This is gross,” wrote another Instagram user. “I live in the same neighbourhood in a craftsman with 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, a driveway and a fenced in yard — right off subsections junction. This is criminal and you are complicit in the gentrification problem. Own it. Nasty and greedy.”
Another user wrote, “I live in this hood and pay $1946 per month ($US1400), most friends pay $2363 ($US1700) for (1 bedroom), @wavves is trash and is trying to hyper gentrify.”
Some fans came to his aid, agreeing that the musician was investing and readying himself for the future.
“Was not expecting to open this can of worms,” one commenter wrote.
“I was just legit curious about rent prices. I think it’s good you’re financially planning for your future.
“Leave him alone guys, Jesus.”
it is super sad. how dare i have the audacity to have a passive income. i must be AN IDIOT! https://t.co/8CpMb58HNc
— WAVVES (@WAVVES) January 26, 2019
He later joked about being at a recording studio that was charging him money.
dude i’m at the studio right now and these capitalist pigs are CHARGING ME MONEY TO RECORD HERE! SOMEONE NEEDS TO BURN DOWN THE SYSTEM!!!! pic.twitter.com/AvRbNuPxN2
— WAVVES (@WAVVES) January 27, 2019
Mr Williams also tweeted that he was going to inform his own landlords at the premises of his record label that his fans had told him paying rent is “not cool”.
“Will report back,” the musician tweeted.