Sep 07

Now more than ever, “We are all in this together.”  The seemingly adversarial interactions of the past no longer serve anyone.  Those representing rental housing and those representing folks living in rental housing must work in unison to fix problems that have existed in the lower end of the market for as long as I’ve been in business.

A spokeswoman for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, which frequently represents tenants facing eviction, also noted that landlords’ financial well-being is crucial for people to maintain housing.

“Rent assistance is needed to ensure rent payments continue to be paid to landlords. Without rent assistance to help fund this order, many tenants will face an insurmountable rent burden when the moratorium lifts,” the spokeswoman said. “Also, there will be a profound impact on many landlords’ ability to continue their business.”

In 1991, I was interviewed by a few national publications regarding the termination of a Christmas eviction moratorium in Milwaukee. While those articles are not online, a similar statement I made in a 2010 NYT article is:

Tim Ballering, who owns or manages some 900 rental units in Milwaukee, said a basic problem was the growing imbalance between low-end incomes and rents. A minimum-wage worker may gross little more than $1,100 a month; a welfare recipient in Wisconsin receives $673 a month, while two-bedroom units start at about $475.

“On $673 a month, how do you buy tennis shoes for the kids, clean shirts for school and still pay your rent?” Mr. Ballering said.

Nearly 30 years later, not much has changed.  Maybe COVID will be a blessing in disguise, allowing meaningful discussions that extend well past this current crisis.

Leave a Reply

preload preload preload