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We Should Not Socialize the Housing Market

November 19, 2002

Mike Feuer's Nov. 14 commentary about affordable housing in Los Angeles argues that the city of L.A. should build, at taxpayer expense, what he refers to as affordable, multiple-unit housing in neighborhoods all across town. And if the current residents of these areas -- living in homes they chose to live in and paid for themselves -- aren't entirely pleased by this, they "must learn to say yes." Feuer claims this is necessary because there are so many overcrowded residences in L.A.

In this country there is something we believe in, and it's called the free market. The fact is, nobody is guaranteed affordable housing. It's a simple function of supply and demand or, rather, the marketplace. If one chooses of his own free will to live in a cramped, crowded space in order to live in L.A., that's his choice.

There's another idea that Americans have tended to reject soundly, and that's socialism. And if spending 100 million badly needed taxpayer dollars (imagine what that could do for schools, cops, etc.) to essentially give away housing (housing that's being forced into neighborhoods where it's unwelcome) isn't reminiscent of socialism, I'm not sure what is.

Eddie Dunlop

Los Angeles

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Feuer's commentary stated the dire need for affordable housing in L.A. and noted the help that a newly passed California bond issue will be to the cause. On a different page of the same section, we also read that a proposed addition of 13,000 housing units in Playa Vista has been reduced to 5,846 units in favor of keeping the area as a wetland (Nov. 14). This feat was accomplished by an opposing group that will buy up this land using money from a different, recently passed California bond issue. Welcome to California!

Fred Hinckley

Palmdale

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