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Re: “Raising the Rent at 138 Monte Cresta

Hey - I moved to Berkeley from Minneapolis in January and got my first taste of the Bay Area apartment market. I am now against rent control and for increased density via weakening height restrictions and encouraging new construction.

Apartments here are the lowest quality and landlord/tenant relations are the most adversarial that I've seen. Also, as a recent transplant and postdoc, I am paying top dollar for my place and probably will not be around long enough for rent control to work for me.

I've heard many people say that rent control helps lower income people with housing. However, by its very nature, rent control benefits people who can stay in the same apartment for decades on end. These people are usually more financially secure than people who have to move around a lot or have just arrived on the job market and often didn't need the help in the first place.

I've also heard many people talk about the magical 'communities' that exist in the Bay Area that would be destroyed if rent control were abolished. Hate to break it to you, but any reasonably large/dense city/metro area has 'neighborhoods' and 'communities' and I really haven't noticed anything special here in this regard. And my interaction with the people in my building really hasn't changed from when I was in the Twin Cities.

Related to the above paragraph is the notion that increasing density or weakening height restrictions would 'ruin' the Bay Area somehow. Honestly, I don't see how adding a story or two on top of the average building would change the scenery much. You'd still have Marin County, Muir Woods, etc., and I really can't see the bay from my downtown Berk apartment as is.

Oh yeah, you people that say there's 'infinite demand' here because San Francisco is God's Own Paradise and everyone's just DYING to get a chance to move here...please. This is a reasonably dense metro area that's pretty. Boston, NYC, etc., kick its ass when it comes to public transit. And the weather places that have discovered insulation is just fine for the 98% of the time you're inside in the Winter (another reason to have more modern construction here). I moved here for a job at Berkeley. I'll probably leave when that's finished.

Posted by Brendon Rhoades on 05/07/2008 at 5:05 PM

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