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Letters to the Editor: Density brings gentrification to L.A. How is this supposed to solve our housing crisis?

A new condo complex sits amid mostly single-family housing in Yorba Linda in 2021.
A new condo complex sits amid mostly single-family housing in Yorba Linda in 2021.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
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To the editor: Once all the single-family homes are razed and multi-unit buildings replace them, will the new, densified housing be affordable? I don’t mean “affordable” as in “market rate” — I mean truly affordable. (“The $1-million home is becoming the norm in L.A. This is an outrage we could have prevented,” Opinion, Aug. 14)

And who will own this new, dense world? Homeowners who have made personal investments in their community and who care what happens to it? Or corporate managers?

The new dense buildings gentrifying my community, displacing small businesses and renters living in older, modest and affordable apartments, are built and owned by corporate property flippers seeking only to maximize their profits.

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Obliterating single-family homes will not stop rents from going up. Ending zoning will not prevent gentrification or displacement. Ending zoning will enable profiteering.

Jo Perry, Studio City

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To the editor: Building small rental units in neighborhoods zoned for single-family residences will not lower home prices. Nor will it increase homeownership.

In fact, changing these neighborhoods to higher-density areas enables developers to turn single-family homes into rental units, which further reduces the supply of homes for purchase, thus raising home prices. Most people want homes to buy to build wealth, not live in small, expensive rental units.

With thousands of square feet of empty commercial space and rental units, rather than destroy single-family neighborhoods, why not put a hold on commercial construction and change commercial zones to residential or at least mixed use?

Janet Gegan, Culver City

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To the editor: I would love for anyone who advocated for greater density to provide one case study, in the real world, not a model they dreamed up, where this works.

Singapore and Hong Kong make density affordable through public housing. But nowhere has market-rate, developer-driven housing in dense areas been affordable.

In Canada, Vancouver went all in on density, and that city is as expensive and unaffordable as anywhere. San Francisco is phenomenally dense relative to Los Angeles, and it is also very expensive.

So show me where it works. Not in a simulation; I don’t live there — in the real brick-and-mortar world.

Jesse Cline, Santa Maria

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