In Vermont, the city of Burlington is dominated by tenants, who lease 65% of the housing market. So, when a “just cause” rent control ordinance was proposed to help solve the challenge of affordable housing, Peter Tucker, Vermont Association of REALTORS® director of advocacy and public policy, knew fighting it would be an uphill battle—but one that was worthwhile for VAR to take on.
For VAR, the heart of the issue was the private property rights of housing providers to use and rent their properties as they see fit. REALTORS® have long argued that rent control has a net negative effect on rental housing supply. “In fact,” says Tucker, “it will only push landlords who can’t afford the rising cost of doing business to sell out, converting their apartments to condos”—and reducing the total number of available rentals.
I was brand new to the job, but I called the REALTOR® Party team and they were fantastic: The program is great, the delivery was there, and they gave me the advocacy research we needed to say, ‘Here’s what we think and why.
-Peter Tucker, director of advocacy and public policy, Vermont Association of REALTORS®