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Affordable Housing & Rent Control

Transparent Statement:
I do not believe in rent control or subsidizing affordable housing.

Many people are poor or have temporary financial difficulties. We definitely need to help them from becoming homeless. That is not something we should ever allow to happen.

But I am against the rent control or the government subsidizing affordable housing, even in areas with high housing costs.

I live in Snohomish County outside the City of Seattle, but within the Seattle metropolitan area. The daily traffic into Seattle and Bellevue is insane. It is full of people who have good jobs, but made the decision that they either do not want to live in Seattle or Bellevue, cannot afford to or could not justify the cost of doing so.

Why should those taxpayers subsidize the cost of housing for those who make less money, yet want to live in an expensive area they cannot afford? I realize this means that expensive cities will lose the income (and presumably racial) diversity of their populations. But that is capitalism.

As for rent control, I agree that renters should be protected against illegal actions by their landlords. But if you purchase a home, would you like the government to limit how much you later sell it for? Nothing prevents homeowners from selling their home to the highest bidder. Why are rents any different?

Again, this seems cruel, and capitalism is definitely cruel sometimes. But if residents want to protect against rising rents, they should purchase a home instead. The value to consumers of renting is that it is not a long-term commitment. Why should a landlord be expected to keep the price the same when prices are rising all around them?

The one time where I would be ok with government-subsidized housing would be for public service employees, particularly police officers and firefighters, where there is a true community value in enabling workers to live within the communities they serve.

On a side note, if we increase funding for education and can fill more jobs with homegrown talent, companies will need to recruit fewer people from other states and countries. Fewer people mean less competition for housing, which means lower costs!

Steve Rubenstein for Governor | Privacy Policy