thedud Posts

Duluth’s War on Renters

Reading the DNT yesterday I was dismayed to learn that the Duluth City Council is planning on another ordinance that will drive up rental costs, take units off the market, and generally make it harder to be a non-homeowner in Duluth.

There is no draft of the proposed ordinance available yet, so we are dependent on the DNT’s reporting of the plan, but it seems that the City Council wants to:

  • Impose a conversion fee on any non-rental being turned into a rental property;
  • Require an inspection of any property to be converted (the city admits it is years behind in inspections, so this would mean a longer delay on new rentals coming to market);
  • Restrict occupancy to 1 person / bedroom (meaning a couple with 2 children would require a 4-br house);
  • Fine landlords who do not provide off-street parking.

As a renter in Duluth I am pretty upset that my rent will go up due to these new rules (unless my landlord turns the front yard into a parking pad), and that somehow people think making it more expensive to live in town will reduce overcrowding in student housing.  My wife and I live in a nice 2-br house, but it would be illegal to have her sister live in our spare bedroom when she is out of college for the summers.  Does that make any sense to anyone?

The 300-foot rule already restricts the available rental housing stock in Duluth, driving up prices, do we really need to make it worse?