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It's wrong to force landlords to subsidize affordable housing by passing rent control

It's wrong to force landlords to subsidize affordable housing by passing rent control
Supporters of rent control demonstrate at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 11. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: If the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors feels that certain people should receive subsidies to make up the difference between what they can afford for rent and the current market rate, then it should propose funding such subsidies from the county budget.

It seems unfair that the burden of providing affordable housing should fall solely on the shoulders of the landlords by temporarily limiting annual rent increases to 3%. Certainly they alone are not responsible for the increasing population in the region that drives the market rates upward.

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Kirk Norenberg, Redondo Beach

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To the editor: The decision by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to implement an interim cap on rent hikes is a laudable first step in the right direction, but if we’re serious about combating the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles, our city officials must be willing to stand up to landlords and developers and enact sweeping reforms to broaden and strengthen the rent control laws in this city.

Every rental property, including condominiums and single-family homes (many of which are now owned by private investment firms), should be subject to reasonable caps on rent increases regardless of when they were built, as well as laws that make it harder to evict longtime tenants.

California voters must also do their part by supporting the state ballot measure this November that would repeal the ineffectual Costa-Hawkins Act and empower our officials to implement effective new rent control laws.

Stephen Bulka, Los Angeles

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To the editor: I own no rental property, and if I were seeking to become a tenant, I would surely feel the pain of the current rental rates. Still, I am appalled at the Board of Supervisors’ decision to target landlords who charge market-rate rents.

Tenants do not go to the grocery store, a game at Dodgers Stadium or a movie and protest “price gouging,” and yet these are all businesses in the same sense as rental property is. Landlords should not be forced to subsidize the obvious need of those in a housing bind.

Get it right, supervisors.

Diane McDowell, Los Angeles

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