Affordable housing's negative stigma

Dear Editor:In this democracy, there are many unfortunate people who have, through no fault of their own, lost their jobs. Many of these people have families, including children, who are American citizens, who have not committed any crimes. Since these people have no income, they cannot afford over $1,000 rent, and rents continuously are raised every year. I do not understand why Jonathan Brownlee calls these people "not what we want or need for our community" (Letters to the Editor, 5/1/09). Since when are American families not welcomed in a community? Can Mr. Brownlee tell the community where "these people" are supposed to live if there is no affordable housing, like there is in England, Canada and many other western industrialized countries? "These people" are American citizens who have not committed any crimes and it is barbaric to force them to live on the unsafe streets. According to the news, people who live on the streets have been shot to death, burned to death, robbed and beaten, in addition to not having access to healthful, sanitary living. This is an especially serious problem for senior citizens, many of whom are living in a fixed income. A Kaiser Permanente spokesperson said, "More people are living into their 90's and early 100's." With the continuously rising rent, where are these people supposed to live? I've lived in this country all my life and I've never seen such a disregard for the survival (housing, safety, etc.) of American citizens who have not committed any crime. In political science we learned, "If it happens to someone today, it can happen to you and your family tomorrow. No one has a lease on life. No one has any guarantees of what tomorrow brings." It appears as though the citizens of Downey should speak up for their unfortunate neighbors who, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs (California has a higher unemployment rate than many other states), and try to help them get affordable housing and stay out of harms way (living on the streets, which would ruin Downey faster than anything else). I'm proud to know a developer who cares about people enough to help them live a safe, decent life where they can contribute to their families, and Downey. - H.L. Julian, Downey

********** Published: May 15, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 4