Quake Measure Hurts Seniors

"Council Kills Bid for Eviction Rights for Disabled, Aged" (Long Beach / Southeast sections, March 20) because of the fear that it might well have proven "a precursor to . . . rent control" (already overwhelmingly rejected here), hobble property rights, backlog the courts and (most importantly) cause landlords to discriminate against the very people it was supposed to be helping. And that is just what happened in Santa Monica with a more severe ordinance, with seniors being increasingly displaced by Yuppies anxious to live at the beach at bargain prices.

If the genuine welfare of our senior citizens, whether healthy or handicapped, is a genuine concern of this council, they can help them immediately and without any cost by forthwith rescinding--it only takes five votes--the 1976 so-called "earthquake-proofing" ordinance and its 1991 demolition-derby deadline. This would preserve the splendid stock of low- to moderate-income housing that exists in these landmark structures (Villa Riviera, Willmore, Lafayette, Sovereign, Artaban, Cooper Arms, etc.) and that is owned and/or rented principally by our older citizens.

"Safety" as a reason to perpetuate this radical ordinance is a "red herring." The residents feel safer in these class-A high-rise structures than they do on the streets of the 1st District simply because the city has not controlled crime. And because these buildings survived the 1933 earthquake. And they know that seismic engineers admit "you can't really earthquake-proof anything."

As a former mayor pro-tem and city councilman, I know that no council can be bound by the prior acts of a predecessor council--and now is the time to save our homes and our heritage.

--John Carl Brogdon

Long Beach

Brogdon is a City Council candidate in District 1.

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