Letter to the editor- Name calling not a solution
To the editor:
As a strong supporter of affordable housing, I learned a long time ago that you make little progress by attacking the “other guy.” I refer directly to the letters of A. Burke and Janelle Smith in today’s Tahoe Daily Tribune.
You do not gain anyone’s cooperation by calling them “greed mongers” or to attack rental prices without any real understanding of the facts.
First of all, it just does not work to call people names and secondly, their facts are way off. In the same issue of the paper I noted most one-bedroom apartments are offered for less than $700, some as low as $595, with utilities. Utilities with gas, electric, water, sewer and trash can easily total $150 to $200 per month, leaving a landlord at $600 rent, less than $400 to pay taxes, insurance and maintenance. Property taxes alone on a $75,000 apartment are more than $55 per month; certainly not a way to get rich. In the same paper there are studios for $425 and even a three-bedroom house for $875. A far cry from the $1,000 attack of Burke and Smith.
Secondly, why do we single out the landlord; what about the employers? Are they not the ones who really profit from the minimum wage? Ms. Smith makes the landlords responsible for bad service in the restaurants and hotels? Be serious. Someone may be “lining their pockets.” With a $7 minimum wage, do you really think its the property owners?
On the same page as your letters was a question: Should employers be responsible for housing? Two of the three responses said no, yet the casinos and ski resorts hire hundreds, if not thousands, of seasonal employees, many from Europe. What better solution than dormitory housing? We all know that during the ski season for example that houses rent to five, sometimes six single people who are here to work and have a good time. A dormitory with recreation rooms and community recreational services would be ideal. It also seems to me that the cost of housing, along with other cost of living items, should be consideration in the job pricing. I note that the casino business seems to be doing very well; why not a system where they pay or provide. My experience is that they want their employees housed and happy.
We need to work together to solve this problem; there are many state and federal programs to assist us. We need better communication and understanding, especially in the neighborhoods. It’s the old, “everyone wants affordable housing, but not in my neighborhood.” Well, where? Let’s start with cooperation and understanding, not with poorly thought-out attacks on everyone or a single industry.
South Lake Tahoe
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