Opinion: Property Owners Call For Sensible Affordable Housing Policies


As a property owner/operator with years of experience in the real estate industry, I have witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by both landlords and tenants in navigating the complex landscape of housing affordability. In recent years, because of economic uncertainty, higher interest rates, and inflation pressure, the issue of affordable housing has gained increasing attention, highlighting the urgent need for policymakers to enact sensible and unifying policies that address the needs of all stakeholders involved.

Affordable housing is more than just a moral imperative, it is essential for the stability and prosperity of communities, especially those traditionally underserved populations. When individuals and families struggle to afford safe and stable housing, the ripple effects are felt far and wide. From increased homelessness to strained social services, the consequences of housing insecurity have exponential impacts on all elements of our society.

Property owners and operators have a vested interest in advocating for public policy that can help tenants, but more so, foster thriving and inclusive communities. Of course, this advocacy also helps ensure the financial viability of our investments – but it is a win-win for us and our tenants too.

At its core, affordable housing policy should aim to create mutually beneficial solutions that benefit both landlords and tenants. Too often, policy debates are framed as a zero-sum game, with landlords pitted against tenants in a battle for scarce resources. However, this adversarial approach fails to recognize the shared goals and common ground that exist between landlords and tenants. Policymakers need to realize we have more shared interests than dividing factors.

Rather than resorting to divisive rhetoric and finger-pointing, policymakers must work collaboratively with stakeholders to develop policies that address the root causes of housing insecurity while also safeguarding the interests of property owners.

One area where sensible policy action is needed is rent stabilization. Rent stabilization policies, when implemented thoughtfully, can provide tenants with the stability and predictability they need to thrive while also allowing landlords to earn a fair return on their investments. By capping annual rent increases at a reasonable rate tied to inflation, rent stabilization ensures that rental housing remains affordable for low and moderate-income households without unduly burdening property owners.

In addition to rent stabilization, policymakers should also explore other incentive programs to encourage landlords to offer affordable housing units. Government incentives, such as tax credits or grants, can help offset the costs associated with providing affordable housing, making it more financially feasible for landlords. By leveraging public-private partnerships, policymakers can maximize the impact of these incentive programs and expand access to affordable housing for those in need.

Furthermore, policymakers should prioritize protections for tenants and landlords as part of any comprehensive affordable housing strategy. Strong tenant protections, including anti-discrimination laws, fair eviction procedures, and habitability standards, are essential for fostering trust between landlords and tenants and creating a more equitable rental market. By ensuring that tenants are treated fairly and with dignity, and landlords too, policymakers can help build stronger communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. It is not a zero-sum game.

Public-private partnerships also have the potential to play a significant role in addressing the affordable housing crisis. By bringing together government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private landlords, these partnerships can pool resources and expertise to develop and manage affordable housing projects.

By fostering collaboration and innovation, policymakers can unlock new opportunities for expanding access to affordable housing and building stronger, more resilient communities.

As property managers, we have a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities presented by the affordable housing crisis. We understand the importance of balancing the needs of tenants with our interests and how lopsided policies can negatively impact the broader community. By advocating for sensible and unifying affordable housing policies, we can help bridge the gap between stakeholders and pave the way for a more equitable and sustainable housing market.

Addressing the affordable housing crisis requires bold and visionary leadership from policymakers at all levels of government. By prioritizing policies that promote stability, fairness, and inclusivity, we can build stronger communities where everyone has access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. As property managers, we stand ready to work collaboratively with policymakers, tenants, and fellow stakeholders to turn this vision into reality. Together, we can create a future where housing insecurity is a thing of the past, and everyone can thrive.

Nathan Kadisha is a founder and principal of K3 Holdings.