Battle lines drawn over rent control in Boston

A proposal by City Councilor Althea Garrison (at large) to study how to bring rent control back to Boston was met with virulent opposition from three councilors who rent out units who thundered rent control would turn the city into the sort of hellhole they said it was back before voters statewide eliminated rent control in 1994.

The measure was sent to a council committee for a hearing and study.

Garrison said it's time to ask the state legislature to let Boston reintroduce rent control because "there is a major housing crisis in the city of Boston," in which people are being "evicted and displaced in massive numbers. Basic shelter, she said, is a human right.

But councilors Frank Baker (Dorchester), Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan) and Mark Ciommo (Allston/Brighton), all of whom own homes in which they rent units said rent control would only punish small landowners like them - all three said they rent at below-market rates because that's the kind of caring people they are.

Rent control was "an ultimate failure in the past," McCarthy said, adding he doesn't want government telling him what to do with his property.

Baker said that when he was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, rent control had destroyed much of Boston and that he does not return to those days.

Ciommo said both that rent control would not affect large developers but would also ensure they would never build in Boston again. "No one was crying me a river" when property values went down during the 2008 recession, Ciommo said.

Ciommo said he would rather see expansion of government programs that help subsidize housing units than shift the burden of meeting city housing needs on small landlords, and said it's time for "our suburban friends" to make like Boston and build more housing.

Councilor Lydia Edwards (East Boston, Charlestown, North End) also rents out an apartment, but said she welcomes "an adult conversation" about rent control because Boston is becoming too expensive for most people to even rent, let alone buy. "The market is out of control," she said. "Working people cannot afford rent here in Boston." She said the problem is particularly acute for young people - who do not remember the days before 1994 - such as her chief of staff: "Boston is not welcoming to them, they cannot afford to stay, because the rent is too high."

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Comments

I appreciate these three

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I appreciate these three dropping all pretenses and just putting it out there that they don't want to lose any of their own income, renting constituents be damned. At least Ciommo and McCarthy will be gone in a year anyway. I'd love a roving UHub reporter to find out what they actually charge their tenants. Color me skeptical that it's below market as they claim.....

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damn them, right?

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How dare they have another source of income aside from the public trough.

If anything, the fact that they own property makes them more in-tune with regular people. Too often, politicians are blind to the concerns of people not in the public sector.

Garrison, please.

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saywha

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the fact that they own property makes them more in-tune with regular people

what a weirdly out of touch comment to make.

you realize the majority of people in Boston rent, not own, right?

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Why does owning property make you "in-tune" with people?

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If anything, the fact that they own property makes them more in-tune with regular people.

Not sure how we're defining "regular people", I suppose, but in the city of Boston, the majority of people don't own the property they live in. Personally, I'd feel more connected to a councilor who also rents and knows the issues related to that (which include the issue of having your voice continually considered less important than those fortunate enough to be able to own property).

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What They Charge

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Ciommo charges $2950 for a 3 bed 1 bath.
Mccarthy charges $2100 for a 3 bed 2 bath.

I guess you decide if that's a fair price. At least one tenant seems to think so but who knows.

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It seems fair to me if those

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It seems fair to me if those are Boston prices, but we still can't rely on other landlords to be nice. Even suggesting that is ridiculous. How often does that work out, in a capitalist society and with a high-demand market like Boston?

Rent Control does not address

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Rent Control does not address the housing crisis. You're just giving a small group of people protection, while the much large group of people that didn't win the lottery for rent control housing are left without anywhere to go.

Is it really that hard to spur building of more housing?

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I don't think you understand

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I don't think you understand what rent control is. It's nut the housing lottery where a small number of people win below market units. It means your rent can only increase a set amount every year while you live there. Of course the wealthy landlords of the city council are against it, they are just scraping by.

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Freakonomics actually did a

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Freakonomics actually did a pretty comprehensive episode on rent control and the TL;DL: is

It's good for some people in the short term. However, in the long term, it essentially locks the housing stock of a city and makes it difficult for a city to react to the market; leaving some retirees in NYC with a 3 bedroom apartment that they are renting for undermarket rates because moving somewhere else would be more expensive and those places are more expensive because of rent control.

Anyway, I encourage you to give it a listen and form your own opinions on this.

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ok but

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Just like in NYC, though, people in affordable units under Boston's current lottery system *also* stay in those units after other household members leave. So you still have single persons overhoused in 3-bedroom units because the alternatives are too expensive.

This

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Projectiona have been adjusted up and the city is going to need housing for 130,000 more residents by 2030.

How is rent control going to address the supply shortages?

It won't. It will segregate groups into those that get hooked up within the rent control system and government center, and those that don't have an ear.

Supply, supply, supply. If you want to get a handle on rent, you're going to have to get serious about building dense units outside of luxury units downtown and in South/East Boston.

Seattle is seeing rents dropping because they fixed the supply problem. Boston won't until it does.

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Supply

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Supply Won’t make “THEM” charge less.
Because Supply is under CONTROL.
I’m sure “INVESTORS”
don’t want to see their investment income
“controlled”
especially in Roxbury or any other
“UNDERDEVELOPED” parts of the city.

If there were one giant

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If there were one giant investor and one giant developer controlling all housing development, you would be correct, but that's not how it works. In fact housing investment and development is a hypercompetitive business with thousands of players and they *need* to build more supply in order to keep making money. "Investors" have no more power to limit supply as Ford does to limit Toyota sales. That is the domain of local government.

the state could make a huge

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the state could make a huge impact in supply by expanding transit out, too. for people who rely on the T, the geographic area that counts as "supply" is limited by that footprint... just look at the cost of housing between boston and inaccessible suburbs that REALLY aren't that much further away....

That wouldn't help as much as

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That wouldn't help as much as you think because most of those places that don't have transit today are even more anti-development than the ones that do. I.e. if you think the rules against development are crazy in Boston, you should try building something in Arlington...

Build more housing that

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Build more housing that charges what rate?

I have not seen a new building in this city created that you dont need 6 figures to afford. Then the avg cost/sq ft in the building's neighborhood rises, so even the old buildings get more expensive.

We don't need any more apts for people making $125k/year plus. Theres already plenty and theres countless neighboring suburbs for them to go to. There shouldn't be zero options for someone who makes $80k/year.

So yes. Whether its rent control or something else, we need to figure out what were going to do different than what were doing now.

The housing that's being

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The housing that's being built now isn't any different than it ever was. 3-deckers were marketed as "luxury" when they were first built. The only reason new housing is so expensive is that we're not building enough of it.

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Of course

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Of course they don't care they' profiting off the inflated rents. A household pretax household income of $120,000 could rent a $2,800 two br apartment with about 30% of their income. Net income that is about 35% of the family's income just towards rent. Then utilities averaging probably $200/month in the winter and landlords are just banking on foolish college kids with wealthy parents and desperate young professionals who don't want to commute into the city for a good job.

LOL

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into the sort of hellhole they said it was back before voters statewide eliminated rent control in 1994.

Yes such a hell hole.. where you could afford to live AND work in the city working one job.

Verses now.. a playground for the rich and connected, where its a big deal to have a developer build affordable housing that only starts at 1200/mo (for a studio).

Which would you rather have?

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But

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Were there jobs - and how much did they pay.

The average teacher in Boston now makes $100k. I think cops - especially with detail pay, are in the same ballpark. Firefighters probably a little less - but many have side gigs due to flexible schedules.

Guessing 30 years ago the average city worker made way less even after inflation, just as one example of where this demand and money is coming from.

And keep in mind - demographics have shifted. 30 years ago, people bought a home on a single income. Now you expect to buy it with two - so people are making a lot more money PLUS many households are doubling their income with two workers. From there it's just an auction and the prices are determined on the margin.

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Really doesn't matter

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Your post doesn't really matter. I understand what you are saying but the same people could still qualify for rent control and have it be helpful to them. You're two examples (FF and Teachers) are good examples of people who would benefit the city (as city employees) if they could live in the city.

PS - I'm a single person and I own my own home. I seem to do OK. But I also do not live in Boston.

Almost 70 percent

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Almost 70 percent of BTU members live in the city, and even more would if they could afford it. Rent control would help the current system, which is broken, more broken, and even more broken. Good for Garrison, the person the incumbents love to hate. As Edwards says, let’s have an adult conversation about this. But please — please — don’t say the current system serves anyone but big landlords, big real estate, and developers. If the three city councilors are charging low rents as they say they are, then they won’t be hurt w rent control, will they?

To help out, we ought to charge the large non-profits their fair share in real estate taxes, and have them contribute to the greater good of all Bostonians. They ought to put this money towards a housing fund. Northeastern, we’re talking about you. First, you grab all the housing you can, then you don’t pay taxes on it, then you cut back on the number of BPS Students you so graciously enroll. Garrison should go after them next— night one else seems to want to.

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70%? Says who?

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I know that in the1980s the BTU claimed about 50% of their members lived in Boston. Given that the union got the legislature to over-rule residency requirements (as did the police union,) I am skeptical of that claim.

70% I doubt it

Where do you get that figure from? And the average Salary is 90k not 100k. I love teachers and I hope they get a new contract soon, one that is good for the kids in the City of Boston, but I highly doubt 70% live in Boston. They can't afford it.

That was 2016

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Big jump in salaries in 2017 (new contracts?).

Unless that included some back pay also - but now it's two - almost three - years later, so either way salaries are likely right around $100k, maybe a bit more. These number can change also if a large older cohort retires - but I think we are mostly past the most recent large age cohort retiring, so I believe fairly consistent year over year.

http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/profiles/teacher.aspx?orgcode=00350000&orgtypecode=5&leftNavID=815&fycode=2017

People don't qualify for rent control

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It goes with the apartment, not the tenant (section 8, affordable housing, subsidized housing - those all have different regs, but apply to people).

Firefighters better live in the city - it's a job requirement. Teachers I believe are exempt - but are also among the best paid employees. A single teacher making the average $100k with a downpayment could qualify for about a $400k mortgage. If they have the $100k for the downpayment, you can buy the house. Lots of places you can live in Boston for $500k. Maybe not like a king/queen - but a solid middle class life in most of the western parts of the city. Add a fellow city employee and now you are qualifying for a home in the $800k range. Not too shabby for public servants. All dependent on scraping together the down payment though.

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Teacher pay scales

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From what I can tell, teacher pay increases at a small but predictable annual rate. So while the average teacher may indeed make $100k, someone starting their career—who would be in the market for a house—would make considerably less.

Student Loans

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The big financial shift, especially among young people, is the student loan crisis. I know many people, who, despite good jobs and making good money, are paying 10% of their gross income on student loan repayments. $2500/mo rent for a family with student loan payments on top is a larger percentage of income. Moving out of the city does not solve this because of increased commuting costs.

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And also the depression

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And also the depression arising from having to commute over an hour both ways, in terrible traffic, or on commuter rails that are derailing, and with a subway that is packed even when it happens to be running well.

Not quite

30 years ago, people bought a home on a single income.

30 years ago, Reagan had finished his second term, and the war on the middle class was well under way. Single-income home ownership was fading fast.

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Also 30 years ago...

The AIDS crisis ravaged the South End guys who literally brought a whole new life to the neighborhood so that empty nesters and baby strollers could arrive en masse (sarcasm noted)

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rent control

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However, many of us are single and as a city worker who makes much less than $100k as do most of the city workers i know you are generalizing i think. i lived here when i graduated college in 1980 and was able to afford a nice apt with a friend because we had rent control. There is no way i could now .

During college 30 years ago

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I worked a 35 hour a week job at a store in Cambridge, and could afford my own apartment in Boston by the T, go out 3 or 4 nights a week, and go to about 15 Sox games a season. (and my tuition at Emerson was about $5K a year, which I could pay out my wages.)

Today, I'm making more than anyone in my family in the Midwest is making. And I can barely afford to keep a 1 BR apt in the city, and eat out once or twice a month.

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That probably had little to do with rent control

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And more due to the fact that people were fleeing the city. Now you have rich boomers selling their suburban homes scooping up the high end and what passes for high end around here. Then you have millennials and high demand on the entry level. Squeezes the middle.

Forget plastics. I've got one word for you.

Demographics.

Source for salary figures?

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I don’t know where you’re coming up with those salary figures.

Last time I checked (which admittedly was a few years ago), starting salary for cops/fire/EMS, all who the city mandates live in city limits for the first 10 years, is like high 50s, perhaps low 60s. Yes some work OT, or details, or second jobs....but they shouldn’t HAVE to to afford rent...

I don't know whether city school teachers are also required to live in the city, or how much they make...but your figure that that “average” teacher makes 100k seems high...

People are making more money but the cost of entry to the Boston housing market skyrocketed compared to the increase in salary. Same for rent. There is a generation of people who can’t afford to own in Boston because they can’t set aside money for a reasonable down payment due to the high rent costs. And perhaps renting indefinitely would be an acceptable option if the cost of rent was not so outrageous.

Actually...

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He doesn't live anywhere

That's why he's DEAD Yogi Berra

;-)

Yup...

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">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xECUrlnXCqk[/youtube]

Landlords are not social services

I think it creates other problems. It would take a lot of regulation to make sure it doesn't create landlords that don't make repairs. We need more City owned housing. Small buildings integrated into the neighborhoods would be best. There is no section 8 left in Boston because it depends on landlords needed the guaranteed payments from the federal government.

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No section 8 left in Boston?

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No section 8 left in Boston?

WHAT PLANET ARE YOU LIVING ON?!

Boston need's Tokyo's solution to affordable housing. If it works in Japan it can work here.

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i'm not sure if you're being

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i'm not sure if you're being sarcastic, but all of this sounds really great. i mean what's not to like about guaranteeing people basic human rights like healthcare, shelter, and education?

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We need more city owned

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We need more city owned housing and there’s no section 8 left in Boston? Are you kidding me?

Section 8 is a hunting permit

Section 8 is a hunting permit. Nobody is taking it any more. And some of the owners that used to take section 8 have changed to scattered site shelter because it pays more. Clearly none of these posters know have section 8.

I've got to disagree with you

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The supply issue with Section 8 is not housing, it's the limited number of vouchers. Want to see what is on the market for Section 8, check out the listings here. Conversely, there is a waiting list for vouchers.

It's actually both because

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It's actually both because the rents that it's able to cover are below the typical market rents in a place like Boston except in the roughest neighborhoods.

illegal to discriminate because of voucher

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I totally agree that the limited number of housing vouchers available and the level that the payment standard is set at severely limits the impact the program could have. I do want to point out that in Massachusetts it is illegal to deny housing to a person because they have a housing voucher. ALL housing that is within the payment standards should be available to people with vouchers, not just housing that is listed as such.

It may be illegal

But it happens. And while the rate that hud pays recently increased many people can't afford the difference. There are lots of ways to keep sec 8 out. Credit reports are the newest. There are lots of people with vouchers that can't find a place. Again, it doesn't seem that the posters even know anyone with a sec 8 voucher.

Can you blame them? They've

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Can you blame them? They've become quite scarce. Also they do ask for a lot more work from the landlord so without having them pay more in rent there really isn't a huge incentive for people to take them in such a sellers market as Boston.

I'm not blaming them

It's a lot of risk. But I don't have any sympathy for the work involved in keeping a building up to code.

If you bothered reading my posts, you see that I think it's a bad plan. I have been visiting section 8 apartments for 30 years, and I don't have much respect for the owners.

I don't think it is the only way to integrate low income housing. The city and state need to take a heavier hand. And rich neighborhoods should be targeted.

Sympathy has little to do

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Sympathy has little to do with it. The point is it's more work to rent to section 8 tenants than non-section 8, and it comes with the stigma of poverty attached to it, so if we don't make it worth their while to deal with these things, landlords just aren't going to bother (or will look for ways to avoid it). It's the tenants that end up suffering.

And I think if the Section 8 program was actually funded well enough to function as intended, you would see it being used to rent a lot more apartments in rich neighborhoods. As it functions today, it's almost impossible for a voucher holder to rent in a rich neighborhood in any remotely successful city.

I think you’re missing something

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With Section 8, the key number is the fair market rent for an area, which means that a voucher holder will not end up in a rich neighborhood or town (unless there is a sympathetic landlord), but they aren’t necessarily stuck in a poor neighborhood or town.

As far as any stigma goes, the opposite side is that at least a portion of rent is guaranteed. It is a question of choices for landlords.

it can help landlords

When rents are low and tenants have lots of choices, but that is rarely true.

It isn't sustainable to pick a selection of small business people and expect them to administrate a social service. But I am sick of them whingeing on about how i hard it is to maintain their property.

Rent control - It's like

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Rent control - It's like playing musical chairs and instead of removing chairs, you're adding people and then let those that got a seat in the previous round stay in it while more and more people just circle around.

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a statewide vote

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Eliminating rent control was made a statewide vote to get around the fact that the majority of people living in Boston would not support it. People in Western Mass were told that rent control was a scam for city folk so they voted to do away with it. That's how I remember it anyway.

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In 1994 it was Cambridge that

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In 1994 it was Cambridge that ruined it for everybody. Cambridge's rent control was so extreme and created so many horror stories, that the rest of the state was happy to vote against it.

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Cambridge

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The stories from Cambridge are many and varied. Professors going on sabbatical were afraid to put their houses on the rental market, for instance, because the renter might claim that despite an ironclad one year non-renewal lease, they had a right to remain. Reading testimony from the rent control board from the '80s is very interesting. It shows how a well-intentioned policy can go off the rails. It also winds up with a lot of housing stock in poor condition and at a lower-than-optimal occupancy. There is an answer, and it's somewhere between Cambridge circa 1990 and the free market.

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Always wondered why

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there couldn't be some kind of middle ground, like an ordinance where rent could not be raised more than X% every year, so at least people won't face the all-to-common tactic of a drastic raise in rent in order to force them out to either renovate, sell/develop/ or get in new renters who will pay said price.

That's what we had in Boston until '94

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My wife (well, girlfriend, then) lived in a "rent stabilized" apartment. The landlord could increase the rent by only some percentage (the CPI, I think) each year.

Vacancy decontrolled

I think that was the term. Rent could not go up more than 10% a year when you stayed in your home. But as soon as the tenant left, the LL could set the new rent to be whatever they wanted to for the new tenant.

tax rates

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If you want to increase homeownership in Boston, then tax non-owner-occupied units closer to the commercial tax rate (2.5% per year) instead of the residential tax rate (1% per year). That pushes more housing stock into owner-occupancy.

Rents in Boston are determined by supply/demand, not by the underlying expenses of landlords, so I wouldn't expect the tax burden to be passed on to renters.

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fees and taxes get passed down to the renter.

If the real estate tax goes up a given year because of assessments or anything else, the landlord can simply raise the rent. If the taxes are high enough where it doesn't make it profitable (I'm sure there is some economic theory on that) then yes, only owners would be living in Boston.

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Passing along increased taxes

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A landlord can legally pass along property tax increases to tenants without violating the lease unless the lease states otherwise.

Legally, yes, but if the

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Legally, yes, but if the landlord tries to charge more for the unit than it is actually worth on the rental market, they will find themselves without a tenant. That being said, if property taxes go up everywhere at the same time, everyone in the city is likely to raise their rent at the same time, in which case rents will indeed go up (and some low-margin apartments--where the owner isn't making enough money to cover expenses--may go off the market entirely).

fees and taxes don't get passed down to the renter.

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Boston rents in 2019 have little to do with fees and taxes. For most units, rents are set to market rate, far above the owners' mortgage + taxes + depreciation + expenses.

Maybe the units owned by the three councilors have below-market rents that track with expenses. But all these double-digit-percent rent increases we've seen over the past 25 years have little to do with landlords' expenses. Market-rate rents in Boston are driven by Boston's housing scarcity. Perhaps in a weak market, you'll see landlords more than happy to keep a reliable tenant, and calculate mortgage + taxes = rent. But in Boston, that leaves a lot of money on the table. Rents get raised to 'market'. Taxes are lost in the noise.

Taxes

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The non owner occupied tax is pretty high, is it really only 1%? When I bought my condo many moons ago it was purchased on January 5th, so I had to pay the non owner rate for a year before I could apply for the exemption. I hadn't calculated for that, and it put me in a serious bind.

Do we want the same clowns

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Do we want the same clowns (with apologies to Payoso) that can't fix a school system after 40+ years of trying to take on managing rents?

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Rent

By on

How about moving to Randolph/Brockton/Worcester.....rent is cheaper in those cities and close to public transportation.

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This is no small part of how

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This is no small part of how Lydia Edwards got my vote. When she came to my door, I outlined a few concerns I had about the then-current version of the proposed just-cause eviction regulations, as the owner of a 2family home.

Not only did she actually listen, she seemed to understand why certain aspects would create unintended problems for me personally. She didn't back away from the need to make some changes, but heard why I was concerned.

I'm not yet sure that rent control is the answer. I agree the current status quo is broken. I'd rather see other changes first (massive punitive taxes on empty properties, for one) and more information on whether rent control improves the market or not, but I'm open to being convinced

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Owner-occupied vs. investor

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People like you should be taken into account. If you live in the same house you rent, it's not just a business, it's also your home. You value a good tenant, because they pay on time, don't cause problems, and are easy to live next to.

The system benefits the deadbeat tenant and the skinflint landlord. Don't pay the rent, don't maintain the property, who's gonna hold you accountable? Hire a lawyer, go to court, so what. Judgements are not enforced.

And, I've never heard of any Boston rent control system that regulates houses under three units.

It's pretty weird how

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Well then

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Go buy your own condo - come up with a huge down payment and take on property tax payments, mortgage, maintenance and all the risks of having a big chunk of your net worth tied up in a single asset, maybe then you’ll understand why rents are so damn high.

Or do you expect housing to be given to you for free because you’re a living, breathing millennial?

bro who the fuck do you think

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bro who the fuck do you think is buying up a lot of these condo conversions with their sweet software dev money? because it's not boomers.

somebody can participate in the system, indeed, have ownership in the system, and still recognize the system is fucked.

How do you think they got to own stuff?

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I’m not a landlord but I own a home and I can tell you—it takes a lot of work to “own stuff.” I won’t detail the various things I needed to do to save up to buy a home but it was a lot. And even now, I don’t take fancy vacations or spend money on clothes or silly stuff, and yeah, I work all day too. The ongoing upkeep and maintenance on even a 100yo 3-decker building is substantive. You don’t get to hand off any problems to someone else—when a pipe breaks or a gutter falls off or a porch rots out (and they all do) it’s on you. If you want to be a landlord there are other places besides Boston where you can do it—maybe you should try it and get a different perspective,

So edgy.

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And yes, that was a guillotine joke but dude, I’m sure that as landed gentry, you’ll be in the tumbrels with all the rest of us.

Hurting landlords owning only a few properties?

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The plea for landlords who own only a few properties is bull. The city favors large landlord and disfavor's small landlords. At a seminar for small landlords where there was the presenter and me - no one else - the presenter told me that the city, via the mayor, city council, ISD, BRA, etc. don't want small time landlords owning just a few properties. They want landlords who own many properties - easier to regulate (when that happens) and landlords owning many properties earn more profit. That means they have more money to contribute to the election campaigns and special projects of elected office holders.

Baker, etc. is whining because the landlords owning many properties will not earn as much profit with rent control which means less money contributed to councilors' election campaigns.

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Bringing back rent control is

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Bringing back rent control is only going to bring back abuses. Anyone remember the wealthy people living 20+ yrs in rent controlled units? Rent control failed for very good reasons. Repeating history is nonsensical. It's time to look for better alternatives. I like the non-owner occupied tax increase idea. Where do we go with it?

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I lived in a rent-controlled building

By on

Back in the eighties I lived in a gorgeous old Cambridge apartment with fine architectural details and working fireplace. Among my fellow tenants were many lovely, wealthy people who had “second homes” in New England’s favorite vacation spots. They drove European cars, were erudite and elite. They certainly didn’t need rent control, yet they all enjoyed the benefit. The problem with the rent control policy was that it was available to those who didn’t need it. Some landlords would only rent to higher income people for fear of not receiving rent from the lower income tenants who needed rent control.

Any rent subsidy should be reserved for those who need it, not made available to all. The city’s affordable housing opportunities need to be increased and reserved for people who qualify financially.

Overpriced Cities

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It will be interesting to see how long the current state of affairs last. Until recently you'd pay more to live in the city and put up with less space, but as a trade-off you had all kinds of cultural opportunities and events. Now it seems like you're paying more and more to live in the city and all the cool stuff is going away because the only people still living in the city are the office workers. The arts and music scenes have all but died, the cool quirky & independent stores have been forced out, and the restaurants and bars are struggling to find staff. At a certain point you have to ask yourself, "Why am I paying such a premium to live here?" I don't believe that rent control is going to solve the problem, but I think Boston is running out of reasons to justify the high price of rent these days.

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Thank the Fed

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Low interest rates drive up the price of all assets. The artificially low interest rates have caused distortions throughout the system. Somebody that has $3k per month for a mortgage can afford to pay a lot more for a house if interest rates are 4% instead of 8%. It also artificially deflates residential taxes - meaning people have even more for a mortgage. Any surprise our real estate magnate president is running around telling the Fed to lower rates? Every 1% off of interest rates makes him tens or hundreds of millions of dollars.

Did The Dissenting Councilors Note

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That when rent control was on the statewide ballot, that the voters in each of their districts voted overwhelmingly to keep it?

Interesting

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That Zillow estimates her property to be higher, but its appraised substantially lower. While they are not always on point, they are NEVER that far off.

Zillow is off by about 30% on

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Zillow is off by about 30% on my house and by 40% on my previous home. Zillow’s zestomates are crap.

I've seen both sides

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I've lived in a rent controlled Boston apartment, I've lived in (multiple) non-rent controlled apartments in Boston. Rent control leads to slum-lords cutting all possible corners and lousy living conditions. No one wants to build in rent controlled areas, so this would do nothing for the housing shortage.

Now, having a conversation about finding some sort of rent support so that long term and lower income residents are not driven out of town is clearly very needed. But we already know that "rent control" will fail as it has in the past.

Housing

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When James Michael Curley was faced with a similar building boom many years ago he threatened the developers to play ball with him and build some affordable housing or he would borrow massive amounts of money from the Federal Govt and do it himself and put them all out of business....

The developers decided to play ball and a mix of housing in all ranges was built...

The only other alternative is have the city become only for the very wealthy and the very poor which is what is happening now....

I don't really like to see the govt get too involved but maybe it would be better to build housing and the govt collect rent instead of paying it out to landlords that don't want section 8 tenants anyway when they can get more on the open runaway market....

The catch 22 that is happening now clearly isn't working.

Council Housing

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It was estimated that nearly 40% of Londoners lived in council housing in the 70's. Now, all but about 10% have been turned over to the private market. Not coincidentally, London today has become a playground for the rich, where bond traders and foreign investors scoop up neighborhood properties that once housed the local fishmonger and the lady who worked at the flower shop.

Good luck

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I can see it now. Ayanna sitting down with Donald Trump telling him she wants to borrow money to build cheaper housing in Mass.

And Donald breaking out his big red stamp that says:

VETOED!!!!