Editor:

I have no objections to low cost housing in general. But in the present economic environment, the cost appears high compared to the benefits received. Who is the new low cost housing for? If for employees currently living outside the city, let the light rail and various bus lines bring them from lower cost areas of Los Angeles County in an affordable and timely manner. For students, dormitories would be a cheaper solution than single unit affordable housing. For those displaced from trailer parks and other low cost housing by new development, the developer should pay. For those forced out of apartments and condo conversions due to upgrades and resulting higher prices, it becomes a financial liability, not a benefit to the taxpayers, if they must supply affordable housing for them.

The current costs of providing affordable housing are numerous. They include direct payouts by the city to provide the housing and/or land; higher and/or more dense development which not only changes the character of the city but creates more traffic and pollution in exchange for a very limited number of new affordable housing units; additional demand for already scarce water and power resources; additional city services; reduced property tax income due to reduced property value of affordable housing; more demand on education resources. And now there is talk about new taxes to raise money for affordable housing. We’ve already exceeded the goals of (1990) Proposition R, so why the big push for more affordable housing?

Jim Gerstley

Santa Monica

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