Re: “Our View: Rent crisis signals deep economic woes for Maine” (Dec. 13):

I enjoyed the excellent fact-filled editorial in the Maine Sunday Telegram concerning Portland’s high-rent crisis, but I disagree with the editor’s suggestion that warehousing the elderly and low-income families into public housing complexes is the solution.

People should realize that elderly and low-income public housing complexes don’t pay any property taxes and are expensive to build, maintain and operate. Now who do you think has to make up for the lost tax revenue, pay to build these complexes and then cover their ongoing maintenance and operating costs?

That’s right. It’s the remaining property owners. And so begins a vicious cycle: As taxes rise again to cover this cost, more elderly homeowners on fixed incomes may be forced out of their homes and more low-income families may find the high rents unaffordable when landlords raise their rents to pay for tax increases.

This concept of warehousing disadvantaged citizens in housing complexes may be profitable for builders and the bureaucrats hired to manage them, but I find this concept rather reprehensible.

I believe a better solution would be to save as many tax revenue-generating homes as possible for the elderly and poor to own and live in. If they are willing and able, we should help our elderly stay in their homes by lowering their taxes and helping them maintain their homes in a livable condition.

Also, certain eligible low-income families should be helped to acquire and restore homes that need fixing up so such homes can also remain on the tax rolls.

Warehousing unwilling disadvantaged citizens into public housing complexes is not a compassionate and fiscally responsible solution to high rental prices.

Ted Sirois

Saco