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Low-Cost Housing

Gobble, gobble. Slurp, slurp. Los Angeles eats low-income housing and belches mansions. Greed now stands arm-in-arm with institutional racism as a part of popular culture. It’s really a paradox that a home for four people the size of a football field can be built while a gentleman ingeniously squeezes his family into a garage to make ends meet (“Illegal Housing Is Cited by City Inspectors,” Metro, April 4).

How noble the inspector must feel rooting out distasteful abandoned cars, raising the roofs off the heads of the poor, and if he’s lucky condemning a house or two.

In 1952 my father felt himself lucky to buy income property in South Los Angeles. The price was low and he scarcely raised the rents over the years, still making what he considered a margin of profit.

I’ve inherited that property, and because of rent control the gross yearly increase per month is less than $50. Plumbing and liability insurance are phenomenal. Therefore, I was pleased to hear about the low-interest loans your article mentioned and I applied.

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I found that it would be possible to upgrade the property and increase the rents for a decent profit. My tenants, good folks, were thrilled. However, I was just informed that if permits cannot be found for two of the units built prior to 1952 there is a chance that the Building and Safety Department might condemn them. The two families occupying these units pay less than $300. What wisdom, condemnation! Two more families homeless, my income threatened. Who profits? Perhaps the real estate speculators who might catch a bargain if I were forced to sell. A glut of their calling cards fill my mailbox daily.

PEGGI RANDOLPH

Los Angeles


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