Reporter Jill Stewart and The Times should be commended. The excellent series clearly reveals the magnitude of our housing situation and the plight facing low- and moderate-income people in this city.
We hope that this expose serves as the needed motivation for the mayor and city council to respond with concrete actions to address our housing crisis.
A true commitment must first be made to preserving our dwindling affordable housing stock. This can best be done by strengthening our rent-control law through the elimination of vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to double and triple rents on vacant units, and by closing the capital improvement loopholes which burden tenants with rent increases for simple maintenance and for repairs they don't want, need or can afford to pay for.
In addition, there is an immediate need for a moratorium on the demolition of affordable housing to enable time for the development of an ordinance that ensures that demolished units are replaced at comparable rents and on a one-to-one basis.