Letter: Affordable housing in Laguna

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Hats off to our local Neighborhood Congregational Church and its willingness to use excess space to build low-income housing. This is such a Christian act. We have a large number of residents who would qualify for this type of housing. These individuals are facing challenging difficulties and navigating the increased rental costs happening all over Laguna. Many of these individuals work in our stores and restaurants. They have been good citizens for a long time. The rental situation is constantly changing in Laguna as landlords find they can get more money for their rentals. It would be a shame to lose these great workers because there is no affordable housing in town.

Laguna Beach Unified School District has worked with the County of Orange to establish a 55-year agreement, allowing National Church Residences to transform a vacant school into 70 units of low-income senior housing in south Laguna. One of our servers from a local restaurant finally cleared the waiting list, and she was able to move into this wonderful residence. This move has made all the difference to this older individual’s ability to stay in Laguna comfortably and pay her rent. The renters have added to the neighborhood, bought goods and services from local merchants, and not caused any problems over the last 50 years.

I am sure the Congregational Church will be a good steward of its land and involve its neighbors in making decisions that will make the projects work and fit into the community.

I hope that our other churches, which are wealthier and have more land, will consider this Christian act of providing housing for needy residents.

Jim Kelly, Laguna Beach

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