Editorial got it wrong

I was at the rally for affordable living that you covered in your editorial on Sept. 27, and you got it all wrong when you wrote: "Activists want the city to do what the Legislature hasn’t: outlaw no-cause evictions. That might slow rent increases, but it won’t solve the entire problem."

No one ever said it would. It would probably undercut the flipping of rentals, but that's really not the point of banning no-fault evictions.

1. First off, it's basic market fairness. If you pay your rent and don't break the rules in the rental agreement, you shouldn't be evicted any more than you should be kicked out of a gym after paying your membership on time.

2. It costs a lot of money to move. Even more on a short time frame. And in a tight market like Ashland, where the next place might not be easily lined up, there can be gaps that require costly hotels, or moving into bad living situations just to keep a roof over your head, or even returning home to live with family. And those gaps can cost people their jobs, which makes it that much harder to dig themselves out of the hole they were just shoved into. No-fault evictions should be banned for the same reason people should have health insurance: to protect against having their legs knocked out from underneath them financially, and then never being able to get back on their feet.

3. Unstable living conditions make for unstable people who make for unstable employees who make for unstable businesses. As a small business owner, I had to delay a job for six months after all of my employees (myself included) got no-fault evictions. Allowing no-fault evictions is totally dysfunctional to the local economy, which makes it even harder to start businesses, buy houses, pay taxes, keep schools open, and everything else that civilization does. Good governance would dictate banning no-fault evictions for the integrity of the community as a whole.

Banning no-fault evictions isn't about slowing the rise of rents. Even slowing the rise of rents isn't really about the cost of rent. The goal is to ensure people have a place to live so that they can go about the business of living. Keeping rents from skyrocketing is a way of doing that. But so is making sure that once they have housing, they won't be kicked out for no reason and have to start the costly and humiliating process of finding a place to live over again.

So next time you write about it, try going deeper than one flyover sentence that misunderstood the entire issue.

Josh Gross

Ashland