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The Market must be controlled, like a completely wild beast, in order to do proper work for humanity. The historical evidence shows it cannot control itself.
If you're worried about rents being too high, you need to financially motivate developers to build more apartments at various price points. That means high density, high building heights, and things like apodments.
I'd support the city being able to impose rent stabilization only if it was coupled with a state requirement the city rezone say, 20% of our precious, precious single family zones for multifamily.
It's only building freakish luxury condos.
The housing stock, as expensive as it is, is a atrocious. 100 year old worker housing on the Westside that is moldy with bad electrical and plumbing. 50 year old suburban dream tiki shacks on the Eastside.
Everything else is too big, too far, to...stupid...for a modern person to want.
Meanwhile the things they should be building...7 story, middle class apartments, all along the corridors, are not being built.
And the Land Hogs continue to benefit without contributing their fair share because of the Property Tax cap.
All in all this is a State of Unbalance.
And I'm sure you told that to the five or six imaginary friends you have at the downtown Seattle Library.
Socialism is another example of people not learning. Why are there only 4 socialist countries (Lao, Cuba, China, Vietnam)? Their are 21 former Socialist countries, and many failed countries ruled by socialist parties like Venezuela. I got news for you, when you give the government all the power they go after the wealthy people and the educated people. It is easy to rule the poor and dumb.
The reason the only stuff getting built is luxury is because the amount of new construction is restricted. If Toyota were limited to making 10,000 cars a year, what kind would they make - expensive Lexuses or affordable Corollas? Obviously they'd make only Lexuses. The same principle is at play here. If you want affordable apartments, you have to allow enough new construction to create enough square footage for everyone. If you only allow a little bit of new construction here and there, the rich will buy it all up and leave the regular folks out in the cold.
I am not a free market ideologue. I support the Affordable Care Act, a high minimum wage, strong unions and a guaranteed basic income. I am not one of those idiots who thinks the market is the solution to all our problems - it certainly isn't going to solve climate change or give us the infrastructure we need. But it is, in fact, the solution to some things, and a shortage of inhabitable square footage is one of the problems that it can and will in fact solve, if we can get the zoning code and the NIMBYs out of the way.
It is easy to forget history, but take a look around you. Those old, cool buildings you see -- they would be illegal now. Most don't have parking and a lot are built in areas dominated by houses (Oh no!). We always had a problem with the poor not being able to afford housing. Always. The difference is that now, the middle class can't afford it. Why? Because middle class housing is illegal. I can buy a small house and tear it down, then put up a monster house. That is legal. But if I make that old house into a duplex, then I would be breaking the law.
That sort of thing exists all over. You can build a luxury apartment, with one unit per floor, and you don't need to provide much parking, and you can save a bundle by skipping the review process. But if you put a dozen apartments on each floor, then it becomes a lot more expensive. That is why developers tried to use the Apodment loophole -- have the same number of apartments; but since a "unit" is considered a kitchen, the builders "got away" with building more. The law is designed to limit the number of people that can move into a neighborhood (or at least it works that way). This is nuts. Why should it matter? If I build a six story building, who cares how many it houses? The short answer is the law does, and it makes it really expensive to put a bunch of people in there.
This all ends up costing everyone a bunch of money. It should stop.