To Stabilize Or Not To Stabilize?
When I started Cool Places to Live, there wasn’t as much talk of rent stabilization as it has been in more recent times, so here is my take on rent stabilization, and it may or may not surprise you. I am all for everybody being able to partake in living, working, and playing in, and around downtown Detroit, but I don’t think there should be any rent stabilization. Here are the reasons why, there are advantages and disadvantages. After doing the research I feel that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. The advantages are the obvious, because they can’t price you out of it you get to stay in your apartment indefinitely, at pretty much the same amount of rent, yaay you right? Well maybe. I can’t get into a lengthy conversation of the disadvantages because it would be two pages long, but the short of it is this, rent stabilization reduces the available supply causing a housing shortage. When a property owner is restricted with the amount of rent that they can charge, they are less likely to construct more housing, so if tenants aren’t leaving, and property owners aren’t constructing, then there is less availability. Also with tenants not vacating, landlords are less likely to maintain the property, outside of the bare minimum responsibilities, much less do any upgrades, so forget about those granite countertops, and stainless steel anything, because as long as you’re there not paying a rent increase, they have no desire to make improvements. This situation might be idea for some renters, but let’s not forget that you may want to move someday, and if nobody’s moving out, where are you going to move to? Try not to get rent stabilization confused with rent control, they are very similar, yet slightly different, which I will discuss at another time. So what’s the solution? There needs to be an intended percentage of affordable housing mixed in with mid, to high-end luxury housing, meaning that the property owner, or investor, should want to provide affordable living and not be forced into providing it. Shelborne Development is a development company that is providing low income-affordable housing, located on the out skirts of downtown that would make residents in some of these luxury apartments wonder, why in the heck are they paying so much?! I’m talking granite countertops, stainless steel appliances tons of closet space, and faux cherry wood floors, so there is someone out there filling in the blank spaces in the market. At the same time I don’t think that the supply should completely meet the demand, because in my opinion there should be some level of allure to live in the heart of our beautiful city of Detroit. What do you think?