Op-Ed: Let’s Be Honest, It’s Time For A Rent Ceiling In Boise
Enough is enough. Politicians don't control Boise. The citizens and residents aren't in charge. This is currently a city where the landlords are ruling like kings. The way it is right now, it's their world and we're just living in it.
With the way the housing market is in Boise, I think it's fair to use the word "crisis." That's what we're dealing with. Homes that were $200,000 in 2019 are now going for more than $700,000 and I'm not even exaggerating that much. Even the Upper-Middle class is finding it hard to afford to own a home in Boise. As more and more of us are priced out of owning, we are turning to renting--and you best believe the landlords in this town know it.
Prices for apartments are surging as well at alarming rates. Two-bedroom apartments that were $1,800 are now going for $2,400 and higher, with 30 days notice. There's not much we can do about it either, except move further from the city to Meridian, Nampa, or Caldwell. Every week, more of us are getting pushed out due to rent increases. Having our rent prices be similar to apartments in Chicago and other major US cities is not fair. However, people keep flooding into Boise from places like California who can afford to pay these prices in cash. So, the landlords and builders are going to get theirs. They don't need to drop the price. For us locals, however, it's becoming a major problem.
We are in a Capitalistic society. I get it. What the landlords are doing may not be ethical or the right choice to make as a member of the community, but it's within their rights. They can set the prices as they choose. We have the option to find housing elsewhere. However, something needs to be done. We should not be forced to pay what we are paying for what we're often getting. Boise residents should not be at the mercy of their landlords. So, what can we do about it?
We can get our lawmakers to enact rent ceilings or rent caps in Boise. They can ensure that certain areas cannot charge over a certain dollar amount for rent. We cannot let landlords keep charging whatever they want and inventing their own market and prices. By setting a rent ceiling we can continue to live in our community that we love and treasure. Now, I understand some may be against installing a rent ceiling. I don't think it has to be crazy low. But something closer to fair. This would be legislation that would help all of us. This isn't a political issue. Whether you're Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian, or anywhere in between--you are getting priced out of your home in Boise. Your friends, your loved ones, all getting priced out of the city we call home.
This problem isn't just a local one, however. Rent is surging across the country right now. It's been such a prominent problem that John Oliver addressed it on his show, Last Week With John Oliver, recently. John joked, "rent is sky rocketing. And that's the last thing you want to hear is on the rise along with COVID cases, murder rates, and Henry Kissinger's life expectancy."
Oliver pointed out that the nation's median monthly rent has just surpassed an average asking price of $2,000 for the first time ever. That's up 15% from last year. In some cities, like Seattle, Cincinnati, and Nashville. It's up 50% in Austin, Texas.
John pointed out that a major problem with all of this is rent is growing faster than wages. We've known about this problem for years, and it's only getting worse. He says this whole situation defies the norms of supply and demand. It's a very well presented point and monologue. I Could keep talking on it but check it out for yourself below.
I think he makes a great argument in the video. Something needs to be done about America's rent problem, because the solution shouldn't be raises at work. It's time for action.
Are there any other alternatives you can think of? I'd love to keep this conversation going. Leave a comment. Here are some other options below.