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For tenants already on edge, a 10% rent hike is not ‘stabilization’

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is trying to strike a balance with the rent stabilization plan she's floating that will be acceptable to both the housing industry and tenants. In January 2020, renters' rights groups rallied outside the State House and flooded the Joint Committee on Housing on Beacon Hill to call for the return of rent control.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Re “On rent control, Wu aims for middle ground” (Page A1, Feb. 9): In what world does Mayor Michelle Wu live where a 10 percent increase on an already ridiculous $2,000 a month is “stabilizing”? For many people who rent, many of them working class, an extra $200 a month is a staggering figure. It really does mean the difference between heat and food or warm clothing and maybe saving a little bit.

I have lived in apartments my entire 52 years in Boston, and the end of rent control meant the end of my own stability. It has been a challenge since the 1990s to steer clear of the constant threat of losing my housing. I am now 75 and finally settled in independent housing for seniors that has been a lifesaver, allowing me to breathe deeply in relief for this protection.


It’s hard for people who don’t live in these circumstances to understand what the threat of a $200 rent increase means. Where is one supposed to come up with that extra money without a raise at work? Money does not float around in the air for the taking.

What we need is pure rent control, protecting tenants from rent increases that are imposed for no reason except that the landlord wants more profit. That’s not a good reason when it comes to roofs over people’s heads. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Sara Driscoll

Jamaica Plain