To the editor: It is rare for a Los Angeles City Council member to oppose a new development in his or her district. They all support the idea that building new housing will reduce the affordable housing shortage.
Councilman Gil Cedillo now wants the city to step in to help tenants threatened with a market-rate rent increase by just taking the property away from the landlord. Why does the city have to take on this responsibility? Where are all those developers who were so eager to build before? Is it because it is not profitable enough to build affordable housing?
The rights of these tenants should be protected, but in America we do not seize property because we do not like what the owners are doing with it.
We are in this situation today because the City Council has over the last few decades done more to endanger the rights of tenants than to protect them. Eminent domain is the nuclear option that will decimate the rental market and leave tenants on the streets.
If Cedillo thinks the city can be a great landlord, let’s remind him of all the sidewalks and potholes that still have not been repaired.
Ken Walsh, Los Angeles
To the editor: I almost choked on my oatmeal reading the article on Cedillo wanting the city to seize a Chinatown apartment building to keep the rents affordable.
What country am I living in?
It is scary for all property owners that a city can try and renege on an agreement with a builder to keep rents below market rate for a certain period of time — but to think it has the legal authority to seize any property for the purpose of preserving housing?
I hate to think what could be next.
Chris Broadhurst, Manhattan Beach