#rentcontrol: 11 things CHS heard at the Affordable Housing Town Hall

(Image: City of Seattle)

(Image: City of Seattle)

If rent control and “stabilization” becomes law in Seattle, you can point to last week’s affordable housing town hall as the night it all started. Calling the event “ground zero” in the fight for housing justice, Seattle City Council member and District 3 candidate Kshama Sawant drew a standing room only crowd at City Hall to talk about bolstering tenant’s rights in the city.

“I know there are many, many scare stories,” Sawant said. “The purpose is to have everybody leave here today with a real feeling of inspiration.”

Along with outgoing council member Nick Licata, Sawant lined-up several speakers to talk about their ideas on affordable housing ahead of a public comment period and brief speeches by four candidates seeking to be appointed to Sally Clark’s recently-vacated council seat.

Emotions ran high at the meeting as people shared stories about rent increases forcing them out of apartments. Others blamed landlords and foreign investors for Seattle’s skyrocketing cost of living.

Passing a rent control law in Seattle would first require the state legislature lifting a statewide ban on such policies. While there seems to be little indication today that lawmakers would take up the issue in Olympia, Sawant is making it a key part of her campaign for the Capitol Hill and Central District-centered Council District 3 position.

The parallels to the push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle are unmistakable. And Mayor Ed Murray’s approach to embracing the call for affordability while moderating the activism with committees and recommendation reports has been in high gear for weeks now.

But more radical factions persist. In the coming days, Licata said he would forward a proclamation for the council to vote on to state its support for lifting the statewide ban on rent control. Sawant previously elaborated on her ideas about rent stabilization in an email exchange with CHS. Here are the 10 things CHS heard at the Affordable Housing Town Hall:

  1. Licata said the state could be violating federal housing law by not letting Seattle take steps to address its affordability crisis.
  2. David Trotter, a candidate for the at-large City Council Position 8, called the state legislature “bullies and terrorists” for preventing Seattle from implementing rent control.
  3. According to Sawant, the argument that rent control would discourage landlords from improving units is void since many landlords neglect their units today.
  4. Former Stranger writer and horsesass.org blogger David Goldstein (aka Goldy) called on the city to build its own housing with the goal of charging the lowest rent possible.
  5. “It’s now becoming the norm that people are only staying in places for a year or two before thy have to move when the rent increases,” said Tenants Union interim executive director Liz Etta.
  6. Calling the rent increase after a new landlord took over her apartment an “economic eviction,” Kathy Heffernan said she wanted a tenant’s bill of rights to ensure six months of relocation time after new building owners acquire properties.
  7. As one of the original organizers of a 1980 effort to pass rent control in Seattle, David Bloom said the time was right to rekindle the fight.
  8. A north Seattle man passionately argued for building over public parking lots and highways. “We own the land, all we have to do is build on it,” he said.
  9. Three students from Explorer West Middle School attended the event to talk about building houses out of empty shipping containers.
  10. Licata, who supports a rent control law in Seattle, said the fight should be framed around changing who’s in control. “Rents are already controlled by the people who own the rental units and they charge any price they wish,” he said, adding that housing should not be a commodity sold on a market.
  11. An electrical worker invoked Seattle’s history of progressive housing policies, including building none of the first integrated housing projects at Yesler Terrace. “We need to that for us today,” she said.

Who sits on City Council come November could be the biggest factor in passing new tenant’s rights laws in the city. Sawant called on citizens to come to the council’s 4 PM Friday meeting to vet the eight candidates vying for Sally Clark’s vacated seat. “We need someone who is not going to be a cog in the corporate machine,” she said.

Screen-Shot-2015-04-22-at-2.49.26-PM-600x229The City Council will make its final decision during its Monday meeting.

While the idea of rent control faces some serious skepticism, even from Sawant allies, there’s no debate that the cost of renting in the city has increased dramatically in recent years. In a sample of recent Capitol Hill listings, the median monthly lease for a one-bedroom apartment was nearly $1,700. Studios weighed in just above $1,200 a month and more than 70% of ads were for studios or one bedroom units.

Meanwhile, both Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council are pursuing separate policies to bolster affordability in the city.

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57 thoughts on “#rentcontrol: 11 things CHS heard at the Affordable Housing Town Hall

  1. My God. Please don’t. Every single last place this has happened housing has become more expensive, less plentiful, and poorly maintained. Seattle will be no different. I don’t understand why we think were soooooooo much smarter than everyone else.

  2. Given that interest rates are going to go way up shortly, I don’t really see it helping – housing costs will rise substantially in the next year just to cover costs :

    In a rent control program, the percent increase in rent would be determined by economic analysis that would include variables such as cost of living, mortgage expenses, prevailing interest rates, borrowing costs, and maintenance costs.

  3. Rent Control will just entrench entitled current residents and deter new immigrants to the city. They will instead move to Burien, Shoreline, Renton or the Eastside. Seattle will not benefit from what these immigrants can bring to our community, and businesses will be less likely to expand operations in the city when new employees cannot get housing in the city.

    What we need is much greater supply of housing. The things city government should do are making it less onerous to build more privately-owned apartments, and actually fund and build apartment projects to be community-owned.

  4. I wasn’t there, but it sounds like Sawant’s forum was just preaching to the choir. A more helpful debate would be to have both sides of the issue represented. I’m no expert, but there are reasonable arguments as to why rent control is not a good idea.

    • I wasn’t there either. It does seem from the write-up that there are different ideas among those seeking what’s broadly being called rent control. So it’s not just a choir thing. And based on the diversity of ideas, there would be/already is a diversity of opposition, which I’m sure will be apparent. Whoever is against affordable housing already has a strong voice directly to the people in power because they’re winning. And they don’t talk in public forums. They talk in press releases, if at all.

    • Is every activity/event a politician takes part in in the course of doing their job a campaign event? Look at it another way: some people, including commenters here, are against rent control. Therefore this so-called campaign event would have the effect of turning them off. Doesn’t sound like a campaign event to me. Sounds like a public forum where an elected official who is a representative of the people has a presence.

      • According to today’s SeattleTimes, at least two complaints about this event have been made to the Seattle Ethics and Election Commission. Apparently, Sawant’s campaign workers set up tables to solicit signatures for a petition to put Sawant on the ballot and to recruit volunteers. Sally Bagshaw is one of the complainants, and she said “What happened last Thursday was a political rally designed to inflame emotions and get one council member re-elected and push a one-sided agenda.”

      • It was a public forum. There were several other political representatives present, using the space to promote their causes, in addition to several candidates for Sally Clark’s seat, in addition to numerous public policy advocates (including people on the mayor’s housing affordability task force) promoting their individual ideas and agendas, in addition to hundreds of disenfranchised people facing skyrocketing rents, eviction, and or close to someone faced with these things. Doesn’t sound like you were there, Frank. And we know you weren’t there, Bob.

        All other sitting council members were invited, as was the mayor, but only Sawant and Licata represented our elected officials. The mayor had no issues clearing his happy hour schedule to hit up Diesel on Friday to kick it with PA Representative Brian Sims? Why couldn’t he come out for this?

      • I made a mistake when I said “several other political representatives.” I meant to say several other political candidates running for city council.

  5. Rental prices on Craigslist are not an accurate barometer of the need for rent control. In actuality, rent control would only increase the prices shown on Craigslist because it takes inventory off the market, and provides a gigantic disincentivation towards new construction or investment in existing buildings.

    For example, I’m able to provide my tenants with effective rent control (2-3% annual increase caps) because I know that in 2-3 years they’ll move out and buy homes. But when the government depresses the cost of rental housing without distorting the ownership market, we’ve suddenly created the conditions in which my tenants are incentivized to convert my rental housing into effective ownership housing — on the backs of my personal subsidies.

    Also, I am incredulous at Kshama’s argument that because SOME landlords don’t maintain their property, she feels ALL landlords should be actively barred from earning enough rental income to be capable of maintaining their property. Believe it or not, some of us actually take pride in serving our tenants and community.

    I voted for Kshama last election. I will definitely not vote for her (or anyone who seeks to deprive my ability to provide high-quality housing to our community) next election.

    • I can’t address the majority of your comment as I’m not an expert in this area, but I am genuinely wondering: How do you “know that in 2-3 years they’ll move out and buy homes.”?

      I can’t afford to buy a home. I’ve rented apartments and been in group houses for over 20 years. And I’ve had pretty good jobs. I just can’t afford to buy a home at all. So affordable rent matters to me. In general it seems like it’s rising higher than wages, along with many other things like food and transportation prices. So 20 years of rent increases adds up.

      • In my case, I am targeting a specific demographic/lifestage, who I expect will want to own their own homes after 2-5 years, (and, alas, probably in neighborhoods that have done a better job at being family-friendly than ours has.)

        I certainly can’t claim that everyone else targets that same life stage, and I assume many landlords do not.

      • Max, I can’t presume to know your situation, but it seems to me if you’ve lived in rental housing for 20 yrs and still can’t afford a home, your priority has not been to own a home– It’s been to live in a neighborhood you like, whether you own it or not. Anybody who REALLY wants to buy a home can do it, if you’re motivated, have at least a decent income, and work with a savy realtor. If you asked 100 homeowners “was the 1st home you bought was right in the middle of it all?’, I’d be willing to bet more than half (who knows how many) would tell you “hell no, I lived on the fringe for years”. This was certainly my experience. Unless you were born rich, have two incomes, or get paid REALLY well, most of us sacrificed prime location for home ownership for years. Just another manifestation of delayed gratification. If you insist on living in a premium area, you’ll make it very hard (or impossible) on yourself to save a down payment. And the odds are, housing prices will go up at least as fast as rents. You’ll never get there till you move somewhere more affordable first– whether it’s your first home, or a cheaper rental apt.

      • Well maybe I could have afforded a studio condo in Auburn and 3+ hours of public transportation commuting daily. But crazy me, I kinda like living in the city because I moved to Seattle to live in Seattle. I’ve known for years I can’t afford to buy anything here. So my solution at this point is to live somewhere smaller and smaller and smaller. Not all of us want to live in the center of it all to party or go to popular restaurants. I live centrally so I can get to work, wherever that may be. At this point, my goal is to take home 3 times or more my rent. But those days may be gone and that just plain sucks, home ownership or not.

  6. So many morons in one place at one time. Sawant spent 5 years getting a phd in ECONOMICS. She clearly did not learn anything. These type of policies almost always hurt those they are intended to help. A better suggestion is to expand the MFTE program and to focus the effort on lower income individuals (right now it seems the income limits are a little high – a lot of units seem to be renting at the 80% MFI when something like 50% -60% would better targrt the low income individuals.

    • What about lower middle class to middle class people trying to be able to afford to live and work in the city? I want a range of apartment prices available, which includes affordable units for low-income people, but also affordable units for other non-rich folks. I think it’s reasonable to want to live in the city.

      • There are plenty, I mean plenty, of affordable housing options in the City of Seattle. There are not many affordable options within Capitol Hill. As a renter, as city dynamics shift, you may have to shift neighborhoods to accommodate the changes – maybe its not fair but the reality of being a renter.

        Just because you’re getting priced out of the hottest 2 square miles of the City does not mean that the City as a whole is not affordable. Ranges of prices are out there, just like we have ranges of neighborhoods….

      • This is what I don’t understand. And I don’t mean to be lacking in compassion.

        The central district is literally 10-15 blocks away. South Seattle is 30 minutes on our fancy new light rail (opening in less than a year).

        I know that I would like to have what I want without having to pay market price for it, but the world doesn’t give that to me, either.

        When I visit SF, people complain about affordability for real. It’s $4,000+ for a 1-bedroom…and if you want to take the subway in from Oakland or Berkeley, it’s more like $3,000 for that one bedroom.

        And rents are literally going up 20-30% a year there. I don’t mean “some landlord raised the rent 20-30% so we manipulate the public by trying to make it sound like it’s the norm” — I mean, rents are literally going up on average by that amount in places like Oakland.

        You literally have to drive 2-3 hours a day for affordable housing. Now THAT’s insane.

        Claiming that a broad affordability crisis in Seattle just feels like, well, a legitimate issue but one that’s being dramatically blown out of proportion.

      • I know what you mean. Also cheaper housing can be found along Lake City Way, near Northgate and off Aurora, all with good public transportation. People want someone to give them cheap housing on Capitol Hill, that’s the real issue here.

      • Not sure why the assumption that I’m talking about Capitol Hill. Anyhow, I’ll summarize what I’m hearing: “Stop complaining and get the fuck out.” Much appreciated.

      • Hey Max,

        Do want to apologize if we are collectively coming across as douchebags. Not the intention (at least here ;-).

        The difference in thinking here may be that we were (or at least I was) willing to compromise on the 30% rule.

        It meant about five sh*tty years of living on the edge and no vacations and reframing “eating out” as the $1.50 day old sandwiches at Central Coop.

        But even as late as last year, I saw studios in central cap hill in the ~$150K range which feel to be reasonably affordable.

      • I don’t think it’s accurate to say that there are not many affordable housing options on Capitol Hill. We have four, very large SHA buildings; two Seattle Senior Housing buildings; Section 8; multiple buildings managed by Capitol Hill Housing; and, recently, many apodments. Also, many privately-owned buildings with landlords who are ethical and keep rent raises to a minimum. Finding an apartment in one of these options takes some effort, and sometimes a waiting period….but they are, in fact, part of our housing stock.

      • Bob, What’s the waitlist like for SHA like in addition to other low income and transitional housing offered by other organizations? Where are all these vacant Section 8 units? Where are all these ethical landlords offering livable spaces at “affordable rates”? Or do you mean slum lords, which there are many of, who don’t need any kind of incentive like rent control to let their properties decay and fester.

        You talk so much shit like you know exactly what’s happening in this city, and the struggles that residents less fortunate than yourself face, yet we all are well aware of your privilege. Glad you’re here and glad you have this forum, but you’re not an authority.

      • Steve, I have never claimed to be any kind of “authority.” I am simply expressing my opinions here, like everyone else. If you disagree with me, fine, but there’s no need to be insulting.

      • Ground your opinions in fact instead of a privileged perspective of how you think things are here or should be, and I’ll afford more respect. Until then, your disrespectful and privileged assumptions deserve nothing from me.

      • It seems to me that the label of “privileged” is often used perjoratively. I spent 8 years at the UW, followed by 3 additional years of professional training, to attain the “privilege” you disdain. It wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter.

  7. Rent Control is popular among Sawant’s base because it’s an easy to understand solution to a real problem they’re facing. “You’re paying too much, so I’ll control the price!” Another example of bumper-sticker solutions from her. It riles up the base, but it really won’t solve anything.

    You don’t get the soundbytes and lawn signs when you have discussions about zoning incentives and removing barriers for development of new housing inventory.

    This is where the rational among us need to start showing up to these types of things and asking tough questions, such as “explain to me how rent control has helped lower rents overall in San Francisco and New York”.

  8. All hail the great Sawant. She is even better than Stalin, and he was a great leader himself. But let us take Sawant’s policies further. Let us regulate the rise in wages. One should not make more money just because they are more capable or innovative than others. Furthermore, lets seize private homes and split them up into congregate residences where only gluten free, vegan fare is allowed.

    Seattle is on its way to becoming a socialist paradise just like scenic Novosibirsk, the hidden gem of central Siberia.

  9. Anyone who believes rent control is a good idea should spend a few years living in a city that has adopted it as policy. It’s like mandatory union seniority applied to rental housing.

    Conveniently, I spent 10 years renting in SF, so here’s my stories.

    * WORKING FAMILIES SUBSIDIZING MILLLIONAIRES – My friend is a multimillionaire at Apple. He moved into rent controlled housing in the Haight his early 20s, and as far as I’m aware, he still lives in the rent controlled apartment. Small-time landlord can’t charge enough to recover his costs and barely maintains it.

    * TENANTS SUBLEASE AT MARKET PRICE – My neighbors lived in rent-controlled flat on Castro street. They got a roommate off Craigslist who pays market rent — covering their entire apartment’s rent with a decent profit — none of which goes to the owner of the building. Need I mention that the building was falling apart with the landlord prohibited from charging market rent?

    * MY AFFLUENT NEIGHBOR PAYING HALF THE RENT AS ME – In my building on Church, the guy next to me made more money and paid half the rent for an identical apartment. He just happened to move in earlier. My maintenance was always done on time — his sink was held together with duct tape.

    I can’t say every landlord is like me, but the fact that I can charge a significant rent means that I can spend a lot of money on my tenants’ happiness and keep the building in good repair.

    I love making our neighborhood better — but I’d never invest in rehabilitating another vintage Seattle building if we had rent control. I’d just find a way to do it in Portland, or throw the money in the stock market and find a new hobby.

    P.S. This is a great left-wing perspective by Erica Barnett on why rent control is stupid policy for Seattle: http://thecisforcrank.com/2015/04/25/rob-mckenna-and-i-agree-on-rent-control-impact-fees/

    • Thanks for sharing the link vs. just badmouthing Sawant. BTW people on here seem to badmouthing Sawant when Licata was there too. Curious, huh? Anyhow, I don’t know the right solution. I just know rents need to be addressed. Maybe what Erica is talking about is the better solution. But either way, I want a solution of some kind.

    • Barnett is a moderate, masquerading as a liberal hippie Democrat. She doesn’t represent progressive opinions, nor does she have a crystal ball to tell us what a rent control policy in Seattle would look like.

      Please chase your unfettered profits elsewhere and/or find a new hobby.

      • Hey Steve,

        I think Bill pretty much said everything I could say in response to you, except he’s already said it (4/23):

        “… for those who still have an open mind not clouded by “zealous fervor” the list of respected, accomplished economists who have weighed in on the topic is extremely impressive. In addition to Nobel winner Paul Krugman, economists who are on record as claiming that rent control is bad public policy with deleterious effects includes; Daron Acemoglu (MIT), Alberto Alesina (Harvard), Alan Auerbach (Berkeley), David Autor (MIT), Katherine Baiker (Harvard), Raj Chetty (Harvard), Judith Chevalier (Yale), Janet Currie (Princeton), David Cutler (Harvard), Angus Deaton (Princeton), Aaron Edlin (Berkeley), Ray Fair (Yale), Claudia Goldin (Harvard), Austan Goolsbee (Chicago), Michael Greenstone (Chicago), Robert Hall (Stanford), Caroline Hoxby (Stanford), Kenneth Judd (Stanford), Anil Kashyap (Chicago), Pete Klenow (Stanford), Edward Lazear (Stanford), Eric Maskin (Harvard), William Nordhaus (Yale), Maurice Obstfeld (Berkeley), Cecilia Rouse (Princeton), Emmanual Saez (Berkeley), Jose Scheinkman (Princeton), Richard Schmalensee (MIT), Hyun Song Shin (Princeton), Nancy Stokely (Chicago), Richard Thaler (Chicago), Christopher Udry (Yale), and Luigi Zingales (Chicago).

        I’d trust anyone on that list long before I’d take the word of someone like Sawant.”

        P.S. I love fixing up homes, so no thank you on your suggestion.

      • Just curious–do you feel there should be absolutely NO restrictions over when and how much a landlord can raise a tenant’s rent, or do you feel that some controls are appropriate?

        Is the current 30 days/10%, 60 days/any amount increase too much, just enough, or too little? If it wasn’t a San Francisco-scale solution, but something more controlled than now in Seattle, would you still object?

      • Truth be told, I have only experienced SF rent control and seen the clusterf**k it created.

        The part that scares me is in accurately predicting how the different interventions will distort the rental market with worse externalities than the problems we solve (and where you can’t get the genie back in the bottle after you’ve let it out.)

        It certainly doesn’t sound like the current advocates are making any earnest effort whatsoever to understand the side-effects of the policies they’re advocating for. That’s consistent with the Socialist Alternative messaging I’d seen for years on campus demonizing everyone who doesn’t see the world they do.

        That said, 10% with 30 days sounds reasonable to me.

        Personally, my annual rent increases for my tenants this year are 0%. But that’s because I’m able to do it – not because the government is forcing me to.

        (And contrary to Steve’s whacked stereotypes that everyone who wants to maintain a building well is a greedy douchebag I’ll also be spending a 3-day weekend with my tenants (who may be reading this!) beautifying our planting strip for the enjoyment of everyone walking to Cal Anderson Park. Say hi if you happen to walk by. ;)

      • I think it’s great that you haven’t raised your tenants’ rents this year–and I wouldn’t hold it against you if you did raise them appropriately. I’m not against *any* reasonable rise in rent–a 0% increase is just good luck in my book.

        The second half of my original question was: how do you feel about the 60 days notice – anything goes rule? In my last apartment–which was a dump I was earnestly working to vacate–the management company gave us a notice saying they were raising the rent almost 50% in 60 days (the total varied based on how long we would re-sign the lease for; for month to month they were going to tack on a $125/month “fee” for unspecified services). Do you feel it’s appropriate (or legally okay) for landlords to be able to raise the rent by any amount they can get away with, with just 60 days notice?

        That’s the debate I’d like us to be having here, rather than the “socialist” side versus the “SF rent control horror stories” side, each spouting off and not having a dialogue.

      • DB – sorry for missing this.

        A 50% rent increase sounds absolutely outrageous. Sorry you had to go through that.

        I moved out of my final U-District rental when they jacked up the rent 35% for no reason whatsoever, and half the building moved out — all to be replaced by foreign students whose parents could seemingly pay whatever they asked.

        Anyway, these are just my opinions as a small landlord.

      • Yeah, and I think I responded to Bill or whomever on that other post. You say you love fixing up homes, and care soooooo much about your tenants, so, what’s your issue with putting a cap on rent increase that would otherwise force all these people you supposedly “love”! Are you looking out for their interests by stating that: I love making our neighborhood better — but I’d never invest in rehabilitating another vintage Seattle building if we had rent control. I’d just find a way to do it in Portland, or throw the money in the stock market and find a new hobby.

        Ergo! I respond: Go find another hobby and/or go to Portland and fix up your houses there. You don’t do this for anyone but yourself, your family and whomever else you maybe share your security and privilege with.

        Any relationship you have with your tenants is a complete unintended consequence of your chase for profits. I don’t need to infer that in any way. You’ve already made that clear in everything you’ve said thus far.

        And what “whacked stereotypes” are you talking about? I made no stereotypes. I made no statement whatsoever generalizing any landlords.

      • Correction: You say you love fixing up homes, and care soooooo much about your tenants, so, what’s your issue with putting a cap on rent increase that would otherwise force all these people you supposedly “love” to live somewhere else once they’re unnaturally priced out.

      • Hey dude, you’re making so many unfounded assumptions I’m not even going to bother responding against your fantasized assumptions about my motivations, my business model, my relationship to my customers, and my purpose.

        I’d like to see the government put a 3% regulated cap on your annual salary increases for the rest of your life and see how it affects your ability to provide for your family.

      • Dude, the gov’t doesn’t need to put that cap on there. The free market already does it, and you’re DREAMING if you think it’s even close to 3%! How out of touch can you be man? Seriously.

        Real hourly wages of median income earners in America increased by 5% between 1979 and 2013! It already greatly affects people’s ability to provide for their families all across the city and state. And you want to cry about a 3% annual increase?

        With wages in no way keeping up with costs of living, especially here in Seattle, we need to put a control on unbridled rent increases (10-30% a year? extreme cases of over 100% a year? c’mon man)!

  10. 1. These seems reasonable. Why should Seattle have to follow state laws with regard to housing? Ignoring the specifics of rent control, why should Seattle and Yakima have the same housing laws?

    2. Hyperbole. Anyone equating this to terrorism isn’t deserving of any public office.

    3. Wow, that’s some impressive logic. So, if some landlords are maintaining reasonable rents, then the argument that rents are increasing across the board is void? Seriously, Sawant, if you want to be taken seriously by actual adults, address this issue. Because it’s a very real issue in every city with rent control. Don’t just handwave it away. Come up with policies that specifically address maintenance, review boards, city-funded credits for repairs, whatever.

    4. Sure, but who pays for it? Does the city tear down some parks? Go all eminent domain on someone? Where should it be located? Are we saying every neighborhood should have this affordable housing requirement?

    5. Would love some actual data that shows this is an actual trend, or an increase. As a renter for over 20 years, it was pretty normal to see that kind of turnover in my buildings. People sign 9-12 month leases for a reason.

    6. That seems reasonable, though it doesn’t really address any major increases.

    7. What was happening in 1980? Was that the Boeing boom? Someone should run a hypothetical scenario of “what Seattle would be like under 1980 rent control.”

    8. Yes! This will also help with traffic!

    9. Nice idea, but it seems like it wouldn’t exactly be a source of price for the residents. Maybe for homeless people transitioning to residences.

    10. Well, this is the crux of it. Rent control is a terrible idea, but clearly we need more market controls. But in the end, almost every form of control will ultimately hurt renters somewhere (maintenance, waiting lists, fewer units over time as people stay in places longer), and also hurt smaller landlords who are unable to absorb the extra costs like the major property management companies. Yay for consolidation. (And while everyone may have a right to housing, the argument here is more “everyone has a right to housing on Capitol Hill,” which is a completely different discussion.)

    11. Sure, let’s figure out some progressive housing policies. Rent control is arguably regressive, and has a less-than-stellar reputation in multiple major cities. So what are some truly progressive, out-of-the-box ideas?

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  13. How about the price of Latte’s?
    It has gone up so much.
    You cant get a short Almond Latte for less than $4 anymore. It is not affordable anymore.
    I think it should be controlled to be no more than $2.
    Any thoughts?

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