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Senior Citizens Need Housing

February 25, 1988

As chairman of the Housing Committee of the Greater Glendale Council on Aging, an organization which represents over 30 agencies dedicated to the needs of seniors in Glendale, I want to congratulate you and your staff writer Stephanie O'Neill for her excellent article on the effect of recent rent increases on Glendale seniors (Feb. 11).

In this instance the new owner of a 132-unit apartment building in Glendale, in which 75% of the present residents are elderly, imposed rent increases on one- and two-bedroom apartments of as much as $400 a month. Your article was a splendid and objective job of investigative reporting and highlighted the important problem of the need for affordable and adequate housing for seniors on fixed incomes.

I realize that, since Glendale has no rent control, the new owner has the legal right to impose whatever rent increases he wants. However, we feel that these increases are excessive, and we are shocked at the way in which he imposed them. His refusal to meet with tenants about their problems and concerns is deplorable, especially in light of the devastating effect on the quality of life of many frail and elderly persons.

We are urging the owner to reconsider the size of these increases, or at least to meet with tenants about the timing of any increase in light of the economic, physical and emotional problems which many of the residents are facing.

As your article so aptly pointed out, in the long run the ultimate solution in Glendale and throughout the nation is to increase the amount of affordable housing for seniors.

In light of these extreme rent increases, we urge all responsible members of the Glendale community to express their concern about this issue and to support steps which will increase the availability of affordable housing for seniors on fixed incomes.



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