Affordable Housing Isn’t Necessarily Fair
Re: “County Extends Marina Rent Increase Cap,” News, April 18
What are the implications of “affordable housing”? By accommodating one group, we inevitably discriminate against others who had nothing to do with creating the issue.
Marina del Rey is L.A. County land, but that doesn’t imply that every L.A. County resident has the option of living at the marina or owning a boat. The public currently has access to every part of the marina except the private boat docks, even though one may have to use the main entrances of particular places, for obvious security reasons.
My wife and I live at Mariners Village, and we were notified that 20% of the 981 units here would be set aside for affordable housing — which means that whoever moves into those units would be paying considerably less than those of us who have been paying the market rate for years. Either the county would subsidize the difference to the lessee, or both parties would receive less revenue.
Some people may be fine with this, but there would also be 196 individuals, couples or families who can afford the current market rate but would no longer be eligible to live here, and others who can’t afford the market rate but earn too much money to qualify for affordable housing.
Again, some people may be fine with this, but why is it fair to discriminate against someone who earns more in order to accommodate someone who earns less? Discrimination is morally wrong no matter how one tries to justify it, so it naturally fosters resentment among current residents, potential residents and local businesses that would get less business, which of course affects tax revenue.
On the other hand, caps on all rent increases protect existing renters, just as Prop 13 protects existing homeowners and usury laws protect consumers, and therefore are all morally acceptable.
Marina del Rey