We wholeheartedly agree with the position of Assemblyman Terry Friedman and Attorney Michael Feuer (Op Ed Page, "Rent Control Loopholes Need Closing," Sept. 27) that vacancy decontrol is the most crippling loophole in the Los Angeles rent control ordinance.
Vacancy decontrol, a provision allowing landlords unlimited rent increases on vacant apartments, serves to undermine the intent of rent control--the preservation of affordable housing. It is also a tremendous incentive for landlords to evict tenants in order to obtain higher rents.
It's no secret that Los Angeles faces a severe housing crisis, yet affordable housing units are allowed to be demolished to build office buildings, parking lots, mini-malls and condos. A large percentage of L.A.'s low-rent units could be lost due to new earthquake safety requirements.
Unfortunately, though confronted with this serious situation, our elected officials have still not responded with any meaningful approach to saving or building affordable housing.