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Abstract

When the destruction or conversion of single-room occupancy hotels, or SROs, in San Diego''s downtown seemed to lead to an increase in homelessness, a private real estate developer argued that he could build profitable new SROs if the city would waive or modify key safety and construction standards. In the ensuing debate over the first such SRO, the Baltic Inn, core public housing issues came to the fore: whether regulation was effective and equitable, whether deregulation would serve the poor, and what minimum quality of life society should demand for even the poorest housing consumers. For a different treatment of this issue, see Housing''s Bottom Rung: Single Room Occupancy Hotels in San Diego (C18-95-1293.0 and 1294.0).

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Abstract

When the destruction or conversion of single-room occupancy hotels, or SROs, in San Diego''s downtown seemed to lead to an increase in homelessness, a private real estate developer argued that he could build profitable new SROs if the city would waive or modify key safety and construction standards. In the ensuing debate over the first such SRO, the Baltic Inn, core public housing issues came to the fore: whether regulation was effective and equitable, whether deregulation would serve the poor, and what minimum quality of life society should demand for even the poorest housing consumers. For a different treatment of this issue, see Housing''s Bottom Rung: Single Room Occupancy Hotels in San Diego (C18-95-1293.0 and 1294.0).

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