KCBS_740OAKLAND (KCBS) — Following Friday night’s fatal fire there has been a lot of talk about how rising rents have forced some artists to live in unsafe conditions if they want to stay in the Bay Area. But, the man behind another co-op for artists isn’t buying it.

It took Chuck DeGuida a long time to fix up the building that now hosts Jingletown Art Studios in Oakland.

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“It took six months to feel that it was safe for people to move in, and that it was a usable space, and a place that would attract people that wanted to come and see art,” DeGuida told KCBS.

DeGuida rejects the characterization that some have been making lately – that art communities like the one at the Ghost Ship warehouse where dozens died are a necessity because of the Bay Area economy.

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“Any place can be a safe place if that’s the way you’re looking at it. It doesn’t have to be palatial. The place that they had could have been a safe place with some extra effort,” DeGuida said.

The Jingletown Arts and Business Community is accepting donations for the fire victims, and DeGuida says he hopes people will consider being better supporters of the community as a whole.

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“People that are complaining that there aren’t enough arts, that there’s not enough places for these people to go, stay, or live, it’s like, well, when did you go buy something from an artist?” DeGuida said.