The real problem is rent control
Re: “Homelessness impacted by high rental housing, low incomes,” (Argonaut letters, Aug. 1).
In the letter, the writer misinforms your constituency and the readership by suggesting that the homeless problem is a result of housing providers increasing their rents on the Westside.
First, it’s important to understand the true facts: The vacancy factor on the Westside has been in the range of approximately 6 percent of higher. Second, most housing providers and apartment owners and developers will not come into Los Angeles because of the oppressive rent control protocols. Third, the city has a terrible record of promoting inclusionary bonus density housing proposals to developers.
Fourth, the Los Angeles Housing Authority has been paralyzed by corruption and mismanagement for the last 10 years or longer. The Section 8 vouchers are not going to poor or homeless individuals, but rather to special “housing groups” associated with the Housing Authority for their own special projects. Remember, the manager of this department was removed for alleged corruption.
Your congresspersons have failed to offer a creative/innovative/special Section 8 voucher program which would be acceptable to L.A. city housing providers. Two recent appellate court cases make it impossible for an apartment owner to enter the program and accept Section 8 vouchers.
On the other hand, the Department of Water and Power and the Bureau of Sanitation have increased water by 18 percent; sewage by 28 percent; and solid waste retrieval by 44 percent; and yet, an apartment owner may only increase their rent by a mere 3 percent per year, and may not pass through insurance, property taxes or utility costs.
If you’re homeless because of financial reversals, you need governmental intervention that’s fair and appropriate. A housing provider or apartment owner should not subsidize this problem.
If you’re homeless, you can’t go to the supermarket and ask management to provide a discount. If you’re homeless, you don’t go to the gas station or Target and demand a discount.
The real problem is L.A. city rent control. Remove rent control and you’ll get hundreds of thousands of new rental units built at below-market prices with bonus density units available to the very low income.
City Council road bond property tax is unfair
The Los Angeles City Council’s current plan to fund a road bond through a 6 percent increase to property taxes is unfair. Are property owners suddenly the only people who use the roads? Some might say that any property tax increase will be absorbed by corresponding increases to rents, but sharing the burden of that property tax increase isn’t as simple as raising rents.
Raising the rent isn’t like switching on a light. For some, it will take years to share the cost with renters and for many landlords, they legally can’t raise the rent to outpace inflation fast enough to share the cost of an increase to property taxes. That would most likely be followed by more stress on our very tenuous affordable housing inventory.
The other issue is perception. Some renters will pass the bond with less scrutiny because they perceive (rightly or wrongly) that the cost of the bond will be shouldered by property owners. In that sense, it’s a bit of a ploy, in my humble opinion.
This bond should be part of an overall transportation strategy. All people should shoulder part of the tax burden of paying for this while we simultaneously incentivize less single-driver use of the roads.
Passing a sales tax increase that is tied to a corresponding subsidy to use public transportation would be an intelligent way to raise funds for the projects, raise revenue from everyone equally, soften the blow to low-income residents who would normally receive an unfair tax burden through a sales tax increase, lighten the traffic during construction, and perhaps change commuting patterns.
The best way to subsidize the transportation, I think, is to provide for free transfers on transit.
Where’s the sidewalk repair?
Re: “Help with the root of the problem,” (Argonaut letters, Aug. 1).
I couldn’t agree with the letter writer more. Even after my bike accident in Mar Vista in April 2011, the Bureau of Street Services did not respond in a timely manner, putting more people at risk.
Even calling then-Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office at that time did not speed things up like I hoped for. I want to warn bike riders about McLaughlin Avenue between Venice Boulevard and Woodbine Avenue. The condition of the road in the 3600 block of McLaughlin is so dangerous that another bad accident is about to happen.
When does the city take action, please Councilman Mike Bonin? The sidewalks in this area are lifted up by tree roots. You cannot even go there with a wheelchair let alone with a bike.
When will the city start taking action and care of this problem? They want more and more people getting out of cars and using their bikes for what is also excellent exercise but the condition of the roads lead me to believe that there lies a lot of trouble ahead.
Permit parking survey begins
As I expected, Loyola Marymount University recently started polling the area with a “survey” designed to imply that the residents want permit parking with questions like “do you prefer 2-hour or 4-hour unrestricted?”
This is a conflict of interest for them to be doing this, as they have made it very clear that permit parking is what they want and permit parking will benefit the school financially. I am not aware of LMU owning any property on my block and the person conducting the survey did not provide any evidence of being a valid resident of the block.
The survey taker did not announce who they were or who they represented until pressed for an answer to that question, and did not leave any information with the person who answered the questions. They also did not ask what authority the person who answered the door had to be answering on behalf of the property. I know this because I know a person who was at another house feeding the animals while the owners were away (the person was actually a Venice resident).
The survey taker did not offer to have the person read and answer the questions but verbally asked the questions and recorded the answers. Every communication from LMU has been designed to have permit parking enacted in the area and trying to make it look like it was our idea, was required by the master plan that was revised after it was reviewed by the neighborhood council, or that they need to charge for parking as a requirement of the bond that was issued.
As the owner and occupant of a property on Loyola Boulevard, I am opposed to permit or any form of restricted parking in front of my house.