‘Amazed and Disappointed’
Re: “Bonin: It’s Time to Take Action on Homelessness,” News, April 7

I am amazed and disappointed that Councilman Bonin and Supervisor Kuehl want to turn the vacant Metro bus depot on Main Street as well as the parking lot on Pacific Avenue and Venice Boulevard into affordable housing.

If we put aside all the different political opinions and just focus on the business aspects of the proposal, it makes no sense. If MTA were to sell the land to the highest bidder who then built apartments, condos and/or single family homes according to the Venice Specific Plan and its height and density limits, the MTA would get top dollar and the units would generate considerable property taxes down the road to fund cops, teachers and county hospitals.

However, under Prop 13 any low-income housing on the site operated by a non-profit would be exempt from property taxes under a welfare exemption.

If sold to the private sector, the MTA could use the $50 million or more it gets for the land to purchase several more times the land area in many less expensive areas of Los Angeles County, and build two or three times (or more) as many affordable housing units.

I think the question Bonin and Kuehl need to answer is whether they really want to house as many homeless souls as possible with the proceeds from this asset, or are they just looking to make a political point about income diversity in Venice even though it will leave many homeless still homeless.

His proposal screams of everything that is wrong in politics today in L.A. and the poor or misguided (or politically  motivated) decision-making that we see way too often.

Doug Himmel

‘Encouraged and Optimistic’
Re: “Bonin: It’s Time to Take Action on Homelessness,” News, April 7

Thank you for the detailed and balanced coverage of Mike Bonin’s Venice Forward homeless initiative.

The plan is the result of Mike’s hands-on involvement to bring real solutions to what most believe is an intractable problem. His leadership and personal participation in countless meetings brought government and non-profit agencies together with businesses and residents who had the capacity and willingness to bring relief to our homeless neighbors. Obviously, all of us will benefit!

I have never been so encouraged and optimistic in my 20 years of working to assist our citizens who are without housing.

Booker Pearson
Commissioner, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
Playa del Rey