Affordable housing shortage needs long-term solution

The growing shortage of affordable rental housing in Los Angeles is reaching crisis proportions among a group too often ignored — poor, elderly Jews fearing eviction or unaffordable rent increases.

That’s what I’ve learned from leaders of Jewish and other social service agencies dealing with the fallout from rising rents in a metropolitan area where, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rental vacancy rate was 2.7 percent at the end of last year, one of the lowest in the country.  They’ve found the plight of older people is not what we want to imagine. We’d like to think of seniors surrounded by supportive family, bolstered by Medicare, savings and investments, secure in the last years of their lives. Rather, their lives too often fit the description attributed to the late actress Bette Davis: “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”

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