by Tom Barnard
In Seattle, many of us encounter our actual landlord maybe once, if at all. Most corporate landlords hire a combination of software portals and property managers that handle rent, maintenance, fees, and anything else that empties your bank account. Often you don’t even know who actually owns your unit. You pay your rent; next year (or next month), you pay more rent, and you hope your income keeps up with it. When it doesn’t, you move. Your rent increase, affordable or not, is always blamed on that endlessly repeated fable you learned in Econ 101: the law of supply and demand. Like gravity, it’s presented as an eternal principle. What’s never talked about is what determines supply and demand: market dominance and bargaining power.
Continue reading OPINION | Corporate Rent Control in the Emerald City
by Guy Oron
(This article was originally published on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Tenants of a Capitol Hill apartment complex are fighting to stay in place after their building — an example of “naturally affordable” housing in Seattle — was sold to a private company.
Continue reading Tenants in Limbo After Sale of ‘Naturally Affordable’ Apartment Building
by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Nov. 19, City Councilmember Kshama Sawant gathered with tenants of the Rainier Court Apartments to pressure the landlord to commit to not increasing rent in 2022 and to fixing problematic living conditions — two demands of Sawant’s larger plan to implement rent control citywide, ahead of an impending recall election.
Tenants living in the Dakota and Courtland Place buildings of the Rainier Court Apartments, who spoke at the rally, said that their standard of living has been lowered by mold, long maintenance wait times, and questionable security.
Continue reading Sawant Emphasizes Rent Control Ahead of Special Recall Election
by Justin Carder
(This article originally appeared on Capitol Hill Seattle Blog and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Capitol Hill Seattle Blog (CHS) was there when an upstart challenger squared off with incumbent Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin in a debate on rent control held at Seattle Central that would set the tone for the major political upset that would remove the veteran lawmaker from office a few weeks later.
That win built on causes like the $15 minimum wage, a tax on big business, and controlling rents came at the start of Kshama Sawant’s political career in the city.
“We’ve done $15 an hour and taxing big business. We haven’t done rent control,” Sawant told CHS on Wednesday, May 5.
Continue reading After Success on Minimum Wage and Amazon Tax, Sawant Makes a Push for Rent Control
What is rent control, how does it work, and could it benefit Seattle?
by Natalie Barry
Earlier this spring, Kshama Sawant and the Seattle Renters Commission repeated calls for a citywide rent control ordinance and economic eviction assistance. In letters to the City Council, they specifically called for a repeal of the rent control ban on the city level, and an extension of the 30-day rent increase notice period, requiring landlords to inform tenants 180 days before increasing rents.
Continue reading OPINION: Understanding Rent Control
by Will Sweger
Tuesday morning inside the concrete and glass walls of the Washington State Convention Center was a completely unremarkable scene. Men and women, dressed in business casual, their names displayed hanging on lanyards around their necks, made rounds on the carpeted hallways and complained about uncomfortable chairs. Continue reading Protesters Convene on Landlord Convention and Rep. Macri Announces Support for Rent Control
By Anne Althauser
I came home from work last Monday night to find my apartment broken into and all my electronics stolen. While the first thoughts flooding into my mind were of the irreplaceable items I had on my laptop, which I will likely never get back, my next thought was that I could not possibly afford to move. In the midst of this moment of violation that notion soon monopolized my thoughts. Continue reading Rent Control and Its Discontents: Dissecting the Rent Control Debate