The economic paradox of property management and public policy is that there are costs and revenues. I owned a three-unit building that was a wreck. I spent a lot of money, time and effort upgrading it. The result: better tenants and more rent money. More money paid for the repairs, creating a more profitable building. If rent were controlled, why would I have made the improvements?

When I priced my apartments, I looked at all costs. Portland city taxes on my building were about $200 per month per apartment. Perhaps the city would forgive property taxes if the landlord houses low-income folks.

The notion that the city can raise taxes, control rents and demand improvements is hard to square. How would the Fair Rent referendum make life better in Portland?

If Portland facilitates the growth of housing supply, the price of rent will come down. If the city lowered permitting costs and fast-tracked approvals, developers would produce more units, resulting in greater supply, which would stabilize or likely reduce costs. A pro-growth strategy will improve life for the rich and the poor.

Peter Guidi

Wells