Are you thinking of moving to Palmdale? This city of over 160,00 people has a mixed reputation that gives many the wrong impression. So, is Palmdale ghetto?
Palmdale isn’t a ghetto. It’s an okay city with great neighborhoods and average livability conditions. But it has some areas that’ll be considered ghettos. The challenges in this city include a high crime rate, poorly maintained properties, long commute, low household income, and natural disasters.
Regardless of the challenges, Palmdale is still a fine place to live, considering the affordability and proximity to LA. This article discusses whether Palmdale is a ghetto and the challenges residents face in the city.
Is Palmdale a Nice City to Live?
Palmdale is a fair place to live. With a 60% score for livability, it’s an average city that’s slightly affordable and not dangerous. But it’s not exactly exceptional either. The city has some bad neighborhoods that have contributed to this reputation. The city’s west side is great, with lots of nice and safe neighborhoods. But once you start heading to the east, you might find lots of bad areas that many will consider ghetto. The farther east you get, the more likely you will experience a real ghetto. Just like Palmdale, East Lancaster is also sort of a ghetto.
If you’re planning to stay in Palmdale, the best areas are the neighborhoods where homeowners make up the most of the community. You can expect to find well-kept homes and safe streets in those areas, as most homeowners don’t want their houses to lose value due to a bad reputation. These neighborhoods also usually have the most facilities and amenities, making them the most livable parts of the city. Anyone planning to move to the city should first visit it. That’ll allow them to feel the city and inspect the area before they finally select their chosen area. Visiting the city yourself can help you make a more informed decision, and given the cost of buying or renting homes, you can’t afford to make the mistake of getting a house in a bad area.
Challenges facing Residents of Palmdale
While Palmdale isn’t a ghetto, its negative reputation is due to the various socio-economic issues in the city. Anyone moving to the city can expect to experience any of these challenges to some level:
1. High Crime Rate
Palmdale has a high crime rate, with most crimes concentrated in some areas. Violent crimes are especially are common, with the rate of violent crimes here being 24% higher than the national average. However, the city is safer than 27% of cities in the United States, which means several cities are worse than Palmdale in terms of safety. Palmdale’s crime rates are also lower than the national average by as much as 21%. Property crime, however, is low here and 30% below the national average.
In Palmdale, the chances of being a crime victim are 1 in 54. Even though it has a fairly low crime rate, the fact that the crimes are concentrated in some parts of the city is an actual issue and has made these parts more dangerous and, therefore, more ghetto-like. Drugs, gang wars, and nighttime violence can be very high in some parts of the city, and this has further amplified its reputation as a ghetto.
2. Poorly Maintained Properties
Another issue with Palmdale is that several poorly maintained rental neighborhoods have high rates of drugs and violence. Several tenants fail to maintain the property, resulting in dilapidated homes that lead to abandoned apartment buildings. Many of these homes don’t even meet up to the building codes. The cycle of decay in these neighborhoods sometimes starts with the landlords that neglect their property, forcing the respectable tenants to leave. Then, criminals and transients who don’t mind the area move in, and it only goes from bad to worse.
However, the government is working to clean out these streets to not drag down other neighborhoods. Already, the effect of these bad neighborhoods means some residents have to be selective about the streets they follow when going home to avoid being crime victims.
3. Long Commute
Commute time in the city is the highest for California, which is something given that major cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco are also in California. Road rage is common here, and it’s understandable because the average commute time is around 42 minutes. The commute time is because most of those living in the city work in Los Angeles. That means the highway can be very busy, especially in the morning and evening. The Interstate 14 will give you one of your worst traffic experiences on some days.
4. Natural Disasters
The state of some neighborhoods and the decision to abandon some houses in the city is due to the prevalence of natural disasters. Earthquakes are common here due to the city’s location next to the San Andreas Fault, so are aftershocks. Even though California has several earthquakes, that of Palmdale is above average. This means that homes in the city are prone to becoming structurally deficient, in which case tenants are more than happy to move out and find alternatives. Another disaster that’s common here is bush fires. This is California, after all. As with the quakes, the prevalence of bush fires here is above the state average. The city fire station is one of the busiest in the country.
5. Low Household Income
Household income in the city is quite low, with over 15% of its resident living below poverty levels. This makes the rate of foreclosure in the city quite high, and it was at one time the foreclosure capital in the world. Even if it’s better now, it was one of the most miserable cities in America in 2019, ranking 36 out of 50 cities. With low household income comes several social problems that could lead to other issues affecting the city’s reputation.
Palmdale isn’t a ghetto, but it has many neighborhoods that’ll qualify as urban ghettos. The challenges facing residents in this city stem from socio-economic issues. However, there are several great neighborhoods here.