“Bill to repeal state ban on rent control is in the works” is a really bad idea.
First, while you can control rent, you can’t control costs. The more squeezed the landlord gets, the harder it is to provide maintenance.
Secondly, when you limit the price of something, you limit the availability of that thing. Remember the long gas lines and the rationing of the ’70s? People blame the Arab embargo for it, but, actually, it wasn’t until President Jimmy Carter imposed a price ceiling that gas got scarce. There was plenty of gas, but not at the price Carter imposed.
Imposing rent controls will just further aggravate the lack of low-income housing. If the city of Seattle wants to control rents, then it should buy rental properties. One might say, “Seattle isn’t in the housing business,” but it is if it is dictating to owners what they can charge in rent.
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If one can make money owning a rent-controlled property, then the city should own it. It would be a win-win. Seattle just wants to have what it wants, no matter what it costs anyone else.
Mark Ursino, Sammamish