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Multifamily NW, the “Association Promoting Quality Rental Housing”, has created a defense fund drive to cover legal costs and an extensive public relations campaign to fight the “misinformation and housing provider scapegoat” in response to the housing crisis.

Rent control is a hot topic these days, and it has been a disaster for renters in the past in other major metropolitan cities across the U.S.

Business Insider, in the September 3, 2015 article “No, Rent Control Does Not Work- It Actually Benefits the Rich and Hurts the Poor” state:

Rent control actually drives up the price of most rents by restricting the supply of new units onto the market. While some renters may get a bargain, most people never get access to rent-controlled flats. Once people move into a rent-controlled place, they are incentivised to never move out, because it is so cheap.

The classic rent-control lease in New York lasts indefinitely, so once someone is in, they can stay for the rest of their life. (In New York, it’s commonplace inside rent controlled apartments to see cookers, radiators, and kitchen fittings that date back to the 1960s because landlords just won’t replace them, and tenants won’t move out.) People can even sub-let their apartments or pass them on to next-of-kin which is why personal connections in the market are so important.

That removes a huge chunk of available housing from the market. Demand for new housing remains the same, but now the supply of new housing is reduced. So prices everywhere else go up.

Under rent control, landlords and property owners know not to create any new housing units that fall under rent control, because they won’t be able to maximise their investment. So they build as few units as possible in that category.

An seemingly obvious solution is to build affordable housing that is actually affordable.  In the Willamette Week recently, an article by Nigel Jaquiss illustrated housing developer Rob Justus’s proposal to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales which outlined how Justus could build 1,000 units of new, low-income housing at a rate five times cheaper than the city is currently paying.  The city at this point has not accepted the proposal and instead is requesting tax payers for money to build at a cost 10 times the subsidy Justus’s company Home First requested to go with other developers.

Here is the Willamette Week article: http://www.wweek.com/news/2016/09/28/portland-needs-to-build-thousands-of-affordable-apartments-heres-why-it-keeps-coming-up-short/

Here is the Government Affairs Alert from Multifamily NW:

govt-affairs-alert-oct2016

Also, here is the link to make donations to MFNW for the defense fund:

http://web.multifamilynw.org/events/Multifamily-NW-Defense-Fund-409/details