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Housing 'Loaf' Is Minus an Ingredient

September 17, 1989

I read with considerable interest and concern your article entitled "Landlords See New Plan's Half a Loaf as a Mere Crumb," (Times, Sept. 7) when taking into consideration the offered "half a loaf" does not contain the active ingredients to make it rise.

Santa Monica's dictatorial rent control laws over the years have done nothing whatsoever to provide or promote "low-income housing for low-income families," but merely to maintain "low rental rates" with the beneficiaries being the middle- and in many instances upper-class individuals and families.

When a vacancy occurs in Santa Monica, although the city totally dictates the rate control of the unit, they have not to date dictated the qualifications for the new resident. With justification, the landowner is going to select other than a low-income tenant. I am of the opinion that landowners have been told for so long what they can do with their properties that out of resentment alone they will select affluent tenants rather than poor ones.

The inception of rent control may have been wholly intended as a concentrated attempt to provide adequate housing, but it soon became nothing more than a tool to either enter politics or enhance a political career. Now who's paying for this politics or (to) enhance a political career? Now who's paying for this political greed? Yes, low-income families, landowners and the cities.

The politicians of small cities must enact every law available to them to minimize homeownership, as any increase in homeownership may become a threat to their political well-being. If they can maintain an 80% tenant city, it improves their prospect for a continued political career.

Low-income housing is destined for destruction so long as it is nothing more than a such cities as demonstrated by such cities as Santa Monica, West Hollywood.

MEL WICK

West Hollywood

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