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  1. Sarah

    While your comments are certainly relevant from the renter’s point-of-view, as a house owner in Portland I’d like to point out that the costs of buying have gone up so much that some of us rent just to make the mortgage. And we have to rent high because the mortgage is high.

    Portland has become popular. As such we are encountering some of the real problems in housing that accompany that process. Many other cities are experiencing gentrification and price hikes at an alarming rate as well: New York (for a long time now), Boston, Seattle, etc. (Detroit would love to have our problem….they have quite the opposite problem — empty, devalued houses). It comes with costs and benefits and one of those costs is a problem with affordable housing for low income families. That’s a real problem.

    New York tried to solve its problem with rent control. That worked for awhile, but not any more. Most cities have low rent housing subsidized by the city. That takes care of “slum landlord” housing as you described in the building from which the tenants were evicted, because it compensates landlords for the loss in rent they encounter so they can afford to maintain the building.

    Personally, I think the solution is for every new (or renovated) building to have a % of the dwellings designated low rent and subsidized by the city. What we also don’t want is the ghettoizing of low-rent families into low-rent only buildings. That would be an insult to those families. And some locals may also perceive it as a threat to land values and fight it.

    1. Adam Marletta

      Thanks for reading, Sarah. I appreciate your perspective.

      What do you think it will take to overthrow capitalism and make housing a basic human right, not dependent upon a profit-motive?

      1. Bob Delaney

        You should ask the USSR how that worked out.

        1. Adam Marletta

          Well, given that the Soviet Union was a form of state-controlled capitalism, and in no way resembled the traditional socialism I am advocating… I’m not really sure what your point is.

          The fact that the previous commenter–herself a landlord who concedes her sole motive in renting is to secure a profit–did not provide an answer to my completely sincere and legitimate question more or less proves the point of my original article.


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