I asked you what you thought of the comments Councilman Ben Hueso made yesterday. In a press conference and later in the City Council meeting, Hueso strongly emphasized his fear that the city’s gains in homeownership in the last decade would be erased and that homeowners would become renters.

Reader CC took issue with Hueso’s notion of the role of government in the housing market:

Hueso’s ability to provide the illusion of ‘home ownership’ does not create a ‘right’, but a liability over being able to simply rent at a lower cost, until able to purchase.  The grand ‘escalation’ of SD home prices was caused by such simple, unproven and unevolved, ‘thinking.’

Local government, as all government, should play a SMALL role in ‘promoting anything’, much less “homeownership in the city of San Diego,” because it hasn’t worked, it can’t work & is the CAUSE of the foreclosures, right NOW!

But reader FS said she’s owned and rented homes before, and she knows what Hueso’s talking about:

Bottom line, most renters do not take care of the yard. They might cut the grass but they don’t do the improvements needed to upgrade the house and the neighborhood.

When I rented I painted the inside of the house for my personal comfort. I didn’t touch the yard. It wasn’t my yard.

When my son was younger (he’s now 36), he let the yard go to hell. As he moved into his 30’s he took more pride even though he rented the house. He even invested in grass seed and fertilizer. But he is in the minority. Now that he has his own house, his interest in a nice yard has skyrocketed. He will be concerned about his yard and other yards because he wants to maximize his investment.

That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of homeowners who are slobs. But I venture they are in the minority relative to renters. Buying houses for renters will only increase the blight. Anyone thinking otherwise has not had rental property. Or is unable to accept reality.

FS concludes the government shouldn’t purchase homes for renters if it wants to eliminate blight. The city is poised to buy about 30 foreclosed houses to fix up and rent out under its plan to spend HUD grants.


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