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Letters to the Editors

Housing projects are a worthwhile expense

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 11, 2001

Re: Need does not exist for low-income rentals, Jan. 30 letter.

Editor: I am leaving a HUD complex after a two year stay. A retired schoolteacher, I have never been afraid for my personal safety in this complex. The apartments are well kept and really nicer than most comparable regular apartments in this town. As far as "looking like a dump," the complexes have problems with the sandy soil, the effects of droughts and freezes on the grass, flowers and shrubbery, just like any residence without built-in sprinklers and unlimited watering. The maintenance crew keeps the grass mowed, and many residents do gardening. Trash is not allowed around the grounds or apartments.

Residents pay their own electric bill and a quarter of their income for rent. That figure is recommended for everyone, by economists and financial advisers. Many of the residents are employed. As a private citizen, I regularly speak with many working class people in this town. I know that there is a need for more low-income housing. Florida's pay rate has not kept pace with the increase in rental costs and utility costs. Also, some landlords do not feel the need to keep the condition of their properties rented to the poor up to state, county or city standards.

As for the vacancies in HUD housing, people usually do not stay long. When they move out, the apartment must be prepared for the next tenant moving in. There is a long list of applicants, so the apartment does not remain vacant for long.

Domestic violence and loud parties occur everywhere, even among the well off, who live far enough from their neighbors not to bother them. We are lucky to have a police department that responds quickly to complaints.

I think low-income housing (federally subsidized) is one of the best benefits of our government to which most of us spend our lifetime paying taxes. Much more beneficial, for example, than a political campaign.

I hope letter writer Jeff Lucas and others will become aware of what the HUD program actually does.
-- Doris Lee, New Port Richey

Politicians won't solve water woes

Re: Conserve water or pay more, Feb. 9.

I am incensed. Once again the taxpayer is left footing the bill because of poor management decisions by our county commissioners and water authorities. Higher water rates are not going to solve our problems.

What are they doing to limit development? What other sources of water are being investigated? Why are they allowing homes to be built with sprinkler systems and swimming pools and then telling us we can't use them? Do they realize that water used to sprinkle within Pasco County returns to the aquifer but what you sell to our neighbors to the south doesn't?

The average citizen should not be punished because our elected officials are unable to solve our problems. I was foolish enough to think that they were representing my interests. I ask Commissioner Steve Simon: Who should be ashamed?Jean Cifelli, New Port Richey
Suncoast Parkway is a godsend
Editor: For the past 24 years we have been picking up and returning our friends to Tampa International Airport, a ride we used to dread from the Pasco/Hernando border where we live. A week ago, we had to pick up our friends at the airport, so we took the newly opened Suncoast Parkway from County Line Road to the airport.
To us it was just short of a miracle, how fast and easy it was for the direct drive to the airport.
God bless those who were responsible for the Suncoast Parkway. We think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Dan Sigillo, Hudson

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