Rent Control Debate: Seattle For Growth on the Seattle Channel

Last week I debated Councilmember Kshma Sawant on proposed legislation, House Bill 2583, a bill that would repeal the decades old preemption on local governments imposing rent control. Rent control will be a big issue this month while the legislation moves through the process in Olympia. You’ll see I start right out with what we’re for. These were my notes for the conversation.

Seattle For Growth is a pro housing organization supported by builders, developers, and people who own and operate rental housing.

We are for:

  • More housing supply
  • Rent restrictions when they come with incentives like MFTE
  • Cash subsidies to people short on rent
  • Building housing on surplus city owned land — lots of it
  • And finally, once we done all these we’re for subsidizing unit construction for the problem that’s left

We’re against

  • Price controls that hurt supply,
  • Controls that create disincentives to operate buildings efficiently for tenants;
  • Controls that benefit a small number of people at everyone else’s expense.

Although Councilmember Sawant took up more time, I think I used what was left well. Check it out for yourself in the featured video above. Thanks to Morris Groberman for his help with the lead in segment.



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