The rent is too damn high!

This is now a classic meme at this point, but that’s because the sentiment was right on! In Olympia we’ve seen skyrocketing rent and housing prices especially in the last 5 years. The average home in Olympia now costs $452,000. Who can afford that? Not me!

Why is the rent too damn high? Because the game is fixed. Don’t believe the excuses. When entities are buying up houses sight unseen for tens of thousands over the asking price advertising with signs that they will buy any home, that’s a takeover that is happening in Olympia. And they don’t need to control the whole market to drive up prices and rental prices. Homes should be bought by people intending to live in them or who at least live nearby and intend on taking care of them.

I agree with Olympians for Smart Development and Livable Neighborhoods. However, I am a renter and most of the folks in this group are home owners, so my perspective is a bit different in that I want better deals for those that rent. Most renters would rather pay their own mortgage than pay someone else’s mortgage. But since that isn’t an option for most of us workers in Oly these days, I would rather my rent money stay in the community than going to some corporate fatcats in NYC and other large land owners.

Yes, let’s build. Let’s build big downtown, let’s fill in appropriately in our neighborhoods, let’s preserve green space and replace parking lots but let’s not let Olympia be bought out by the extreme wealthy. Home ownership needs to be increasing in our community and rent decreasing. We can make it happen, because houses aren’t an investment, communities are.

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