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ODE News: Reporting The Bleedingly Obvious

From Today’s ODE: Renters may be required to cover cost of new code.

Money Quote(s):

Theyre building it into their rents, Rasmussen said. Any landlord who says theyre not is lying to you.


Rasmussen said taking a landlord to court is not necessary under the existing protections.They just withhold it from the rent and fix the problem, Rasmussen said. And its illegal for the landlord to retaliate or kick them out. Rasmussen said the only reason to have a new housing code is to provide more jobs for city employees.

Aside from the mouth-breathing headline, the article doesn’t say anything that those of us who have even a basic understanding of economics didn’t say when the housing code was being debate. In fact, the headline is really sort of a lie. Renters will pay for the fee, one way or another.

Notice especially that Keystone is raising prices more than just the fee, so that they can cover the cost of collecting the fee in the first place. Sure, $1.25 a month might not seem like a lot, but if you operate any number of units that’s going to cut significantly into your margin. In an already economically depressed area, the marginal cost of this regulation severely obviates any potential marginal benefit.

Given that tenents are already protected under existing landlord-tenent law, and that the three new positions created will “For the work they do that is not related to the new housing code, they will be paid out of a separate fund that is not funded by the $10 per unit annual fee,” the city has succeeded in expanding its bureaucracy while not achieving the ostensible goals of the new housing code. Congratulations, Eugene, you’re the very model of how not to succeed.

Anybody want to take bets that soon they’ll be taking the crappy, run-down homes that comprise the bulk of housing in the city so that they might turn them over to developers and raise revenues through the $10/unit fee?

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