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Too Many People, Too Little Housing

September 26, 2002

Re "Locked Out of a House," Opinion, Sept. 22: Joel Kotkin is guilty of not seeing the forest because of the trees. Mass immigration, especially by Latinos, legal and illegal, generated a housing boom in the last 20 years that has caused many cities and counties to be "built out." Demand continues to press prices higher as available land disappears.

Kotkin also ignores the extended reality of housing needs. Housing is much more than four walls. What about water, roads and other infrastructure support for the community that housing brings, such as schools, hospitals, police, fire and municipal buildings and waste management needs? And how about the continuing urbanization of wildlife habitat? We are plowing under thousands of acres of trees and open space.

Kotkin tries to lay a guilt trip on any white person who owns property by implying that the Latinos must do without. However, he ignores the fact that the rapid increase in population by Latinos is the very reason Latinos don't have an easy time getting housing.

Harald G. Martin



I read with some amusement that L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's office has filed a misdemeanor charge against the Newhall Land & Farming Co. for disturbing a habitat and alleged destruction of a streambed where it wants to build homes ("Biologists Find an 'Extinct' Sunflower," Sept. 21). Why does the district attorney have the time and money to fight this kind of thing (building new homes) but doesn't fight to protect us from the blatantly obvious problem of illegal immigration?

Vince Watson

Long Beach

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