We believe that your article about Santa Barbara landlord Dario Pini, highlighted on the front page whose main cover story was titled “HOMELESS,” failed to tell the entire truth about the real slumlords of Santa Barbara and did not reasonably address the vital service provided by a landlord offering low-cost albeit far-from-perfect housing.

We have no experience with the details surrounding the City of Santa Barbara’s complaints against the landlord in question, however, we have spent many nights at the A La Mar Motel, owned by the very landlord you called a slumlord. We admit, and accept, the many of the services including the telephones may not be up to the high standards one might expect. However, the rooms are very well decorated and downright luxurious considering that they rent for one-half the price of the far inferior Motel 6 and one third or less that the price of the nearby three-star hotels.

The real slumlords are those hotels with empty overpriced rooms that fail to return higher profits and revenues to their shareholders and to the citizens of Santa Barbara. If these properties and the City of Santa Barbara were better marketed and managed, the people of Santa Barbara could afford to build housing for all the homeless in Santa Barbara County, perhaps even the entire State of California.

When the rules prevent a landlord from offering reasonably safe albeit substandard housing, the price of housing must rise, and that price inflation prices the poor out of renting and residing in the City of Santa Barbara. Perhaps that is the very intent of our laws.

We live in the Shining City Upon The Hill in the Great State of California in the United States of America and We The People cannot figure out how to take proper care of our so-called “homeless,” a category that [continues to expand].

How does the Independent propose to solve these problems? In our opinion, the solution to all our economic problems is to restore revenue and profit growth to the city’s business, which will expand the income available to serve the needs of our citizens.


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