Monday, January 15, 2007

Rent Controls

Housing is a human right, like food. They are essential to our survival. Under capitalism they are not a right but just commodities to be traded for profit. In Alberta the boom is a bust for most of us trying to find a place to live.

When the market goes crazy and decides that housing is an investment, rather than an essential human need, then the state needs to step in and control the market. And it can begin with rent controls and expand to other curbs on the speculative market. People are not buying homes to live in but are flipping properties in order to make a profit. As Proudhon said about the Real Estate market; Property is Theft.

In Alberta the overheated housing market is creating wealth for the few at the expense of the majority. When builders find it more profitable to build condos (the ultimate profit making scheme, where you own an apartment and continue to pay rent on it!!!) than apartment buildings, then rent controls are required to balance the market place for the good of the working class.

House prices will climb 15%

For many, condos now only affordable option

Goatcher predicted that rents, after rising 10 per cent in 2006, will climb another 12 per cent in 2007 because of low vacancies. "It's pretty disappointing. The number of starts has dropped off because of costs. Pratt pointed out that "increases in price have made housing unaffordable to a large group of people."

This problem has been compounded by redevelopment, she said.

"In some cases the value of the land under rooming houses and slum housing has increased to the point where the owner can redevelop," she said.

"This removes housing stock for the socially disadvantaged and chronically poor portion of our population."

A homeless man who was given a $287 ticket for trespassing after using a shopping centre's restroom after hours wants to know what he should have done instead.


Downside of the Boom

The Other Alberta Boom

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