My name is Stuart Orlowski, and I’m a resident of St. Paul and a homeowner since last year. For the previous several years, I rented an apartment near Macalester College. While rent control (or “rent stabilization”) is no longer relevant to my living situation, I believe it would have been a great help when I was renting. While I had a landlord who was rather “old school” and didn’t raise rent too much while I was there, there was always the question at the end of the year for me: will my rent go up? Will I have to find a new place to live? This rent control ordinance would remove that lingering fear for a renter. Every year, you would know the maximum your rent could go up. Stability is the key to any healthy community, and I think rent control provides that for renters.
I hope all readers consider reaching out to Mayor Carter and the city council members, and urge them not to add “new construction” exceptions to the rent stabilization ordinance. If new construction exceptions were added, you would be incentivizing the demolition of older, more affordable housing in favor of expensive, market rate housing.
I think this would be a bad outcome for the city and its renters, and I think St. Paul would lose a lot of its charm if this happened.
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