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Opinion

Readers React: L.A. has 59,000 homeless people and a $119-million mansion

Spelling Mansion
The former Holmby Hills home of Aaron Spelling, seen in 1993, has been sold for more than $119 million.
(Mark Terrill / Associated Press)

To the editor: One can’t help but notice the bitter irony of the front-page article on the record sale of the 56,500-square foot Holmby Hills mansion paired with the California section photo of a homeless woman living in a tent near City Hall.

I’m not suggesting that the mansion’s new owner convert the estate into spaces for the disadvantaged, but the stark disparity between the two extremes should make us all hang our heads in shame.

Nick Duretta, Pasadena

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To the editor: The same newspaper that regularly covers Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis reports on the sale of a mansion for $119 million. There are other homes in L.A. County worth almost as much — mansions on steroids with gift wrapping rooms, candy rooms, room rooms, you name it.

Something is very wrong when some people have so much wealth that they can afford frivolous luxury while others can’t afford a place to live. Not all homeless people are bums or mentally incompetent persons; some are simply out of work or are older people on Social Security.

If the wealthy can afford to live in these behemoths, they should be paying higher taxes so the government can support the less fortunate.

Grace Hampton, Burbank

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To the editor: I was sitting outside on a bench recently waiting for a haircut appointment in Hollywood. Directly across the street was a large encampment of homeless people.

I had brought that day’s Los Angeles Times with me to read while I waited. The first story I read was about the $119-million sale in Holmby Hills.

Something is wrong when someone has the money to buy a 56,500-square-foot house while 59,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County, many of them in tents on the streets.

Doug Jones, Los Angeles

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