Real Estate Buyers

Behind Little Saigon's riches, the poor pack into small rooms to survive

Behind Little Saigon's riches, the poor pack into small rooms to survive

Vince Bui's new home is a shadow of the plush two-story, three-bedroom condo, graced with coastal paintings, that he shared in Mission Viejo with his wife and two sons.

It is a room.

There are no windows. Instead of paintings, the walls are adorned by a child’s crayon scrawl. The space is about the size of two master closets — just large enough to fit an Ikea bed, a chair, a desk and makeshift storage for a gas burner and food.

His laptop sits next to packets of noodles, a jug of lemonade and bananas.

Bui pays $500 a month for the space. Two elderly Vietnamese men, one a retired shop owner, the other a former carpenter, each rent other rooms. The landlords, a...

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