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A denser L.A. of high rises and YIMBYs would be a disaster for poor residents

A denser L.A. of high rises and YIMBYs would be a disaster for poor residents
Construction cranes loom over a development site along Figueroa Street near L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Calls by the Los Angeles Times’ editorial board and so-called “YIMBY” groups for a Los Angeles of high rises and hulking apartment buildings are made against the background of the biggest building boom here since after World War II and the large profits being made by a few.

But there is seldom a discussion about whether the city can actually afford to build the massive infrastructure needed to manage it all. There’s seldom any mention of greater traffic or of preserving vital single-family neighborhoods that are historic or architecturally iconic.

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The urbanist vision is really about money and privilege. It benefits the YIMBYs who can afford sky-high rents in sky-high buildings, or those making fortunes from land speculation and construction. Ripping apart Los Angeles just to serve the elite will not benefit the poor or the middle class, nor will any of this “progress” happen in our wealthiest enclaves.

With certainty, the greatest sacrifices will be made by the millions of L.A. residents who have made enormous sacrifices to become single-family homeowners and who work hard to protect and enhance our neighborhoods.

Walter Dominguez, Los Angeles

..

To the editor: With the adoption of rules allowing accessory dwelling units in California, the next baby step toward more housing would be to have a program to finance these structures.

My home is on a large lot in a neighborhood where the owners each have enough land to accommodate ADUs but not McMansions. Some of the multi-family buildings in the neighborhood are low income.

Many of us would love to convert our garages or add ADUs but don’t have the money to build one. Conversely, in neighborhoods where most owners can afford to build an ADU, they don’t want one — think Hancock Park.

Perhaps the state or city could introduce a financing program for these units. People who take out loans at market interest rates could rent their units to market-rate tenants; those who borrow at reduced interest rates would have to rent to low-income tenants.

Barry Weiss, Studio City

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