Reader's view: Rental ordinance drives up prices, restricts availability
This summer the Duluth City Council passed Ordinance No. 10159. The relevant change is to rental licenses, which states that for all new rental licenses made after July 26, 2012, there be a limit to four bedrooms per rental unit ("Duluth City Cou...
This summer the Duluth City Council passed Ordinance No. 10159. The relevant change is to rental licenses, which states that for all new rental licenses made after July 26, 2012, there be a limit to four bedrooms per rental unit ("Duluth City Council considers higher rental bedroom limit," June 8).
I'm aware of a fair number of peers attending the University of Minnesota Duluth who currently are renting in a household with an excess of four bedrooms, so it is relatively common. This ordinance would prohibit new rental licenses being registered for four-plus bedrooms, which would cause rental prices to go up and restrict the availability of affordable housing. This would hurt, in particular, young and poor renters like me.
The stated goal of the ordinance, to "preserve housing density," is a vague and intangible public good whose cost would be a burden on the poor. I do not relish paying higher prices to rent when my finances already are stretched by increasing tuition costs. I can only assume there are many others in the same situation, and this ordinance will prove an unnecessary legal thorn in the side.
I can only wonder at the motivations and understanding of city councilors; for their decision seems capricious and out of touch. At the very least, it is arbitrary and clearly not in the interest of anyone. Regardless of council intentions, this ordinance is undeniably a burden on those most vulnerable and least able to bear it.