The rent control debate in last Sunday’s Metro section was timely (“Should rent control be allowed in Massachusetts?,” The Argument, Nov. 14). The overwhelming majority of Boston residents support some form of regulation. That majority includes both tenants facing large landlords and homeowners dealing with the threat of foreclosure. That’s a core alliance of support from residents, including tenants and homeowners who live in the buildings they own (who would largely be exempt from the regulations of the proposed legislation).
You don’t have to look very hard, especially in working-class communities of color, to see why rent regulation has such strong support. Time after time, we watch speculators swoop in, buy a building (often in cash), and dramatically raise rents or issue mass eviction notices. Investor-flippers are just one example of real estate companies that pursue maximum profit regardless of the enormous suffering of tenants and the disruption of stable communities.
Sherri Way, the anti-rent-control debater in the Globe feature, calls for “all of us to work together to solve the problem.” Agreed. City Life/Vita Urbana is involved with a lot of tenant associations that engage in negotiations with landlords. The goal is to negotiate a balance between real estate profit and basic human need. That’s what rent regulation, in all its forms, attempts to do.
City Life/Vida Urbana