I attended my University District Rotary meeting yesterday, held in conjunction with the Ballard Rotary, in order to hear our speakers Seattle City Mayor Ed Murray and City Attorney Pete Holmes.
The Mayor spoke about the importance of housing affordability in the city of Seattle, and I asked him specifically for his thoughts on rent control.
No, he does not support rent control. He has come completely around on this topic, since he first introduced legislation in support of rent control fifteen years ago. He has done his homework on rent control, and learned that it is bad public policy. It has the exact opposite effect on housing affordability. Examples he cited were in San Francisco and New York City, two of the most expensive housing markets in the country.
Rent control does not work.
It does not increase housing affordability, and it drives investment elsewhere.
Karen T responded this way to my post on Facebook about this topic: " I
wish that landlords would talk about ways to help low income renters
build wealth. What about helping renters by selling units on a
rent-to-own basis? A portion of each months rent goes into escrow to
build up a down payment to actually buy the unit. First step to building
lasting wealth. I am tired of talking about what I am against (rising
rents). I want to have more discussions about ways we can all do better."
I agree, Karen. Let's talk.