Letter: South Portland experience belies landlords' claims

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Your story about the South Portland City Council’s March 13 workshop included several quotations from landlords and developers who claimed that the only way to lower rents is to build more apartments.

Here are some real life examples:

• In 2005, when 43 apartments were built in Brick Hill, nearby rents did not go down; they continued to climb.

• In 2006, when 66 apartments were built near the previous 43, nearby rents did not go down; they continued to climb.

• In 2007, when 30 apartments were built near the previous 66, nearby rents did not go down; they continued to climb.

• When a large apartment complex was built on the opposite side of Westbrook Street that same year, it ushered in rent prices that were among the highest in the region and comparable to those in greater Boston. Nearby rents continued to climb.

• In 2013, when 48 apartments were built near Long Creek, nearby rents did not go down; they continued to climb.

• In 2016, when a 44 apartments for seniors were built, nearby rents did not go down; they continued to climb.

I hope you’ll follow up with those landlords and developers who spoke at the workshop and ask them to provide real examples that prove the “more apartments equal lower rents” theory, which, if true, would solve numerous problems for all of us. Examples from across the river or from other nearby suburbs would also be helpful. I’ve thus far been unable to find any.

Adrian Dowling
South Portland

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