Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Slumlord of the Rings

Last night I added another wikipedia article, slumlord. I was amazed it wasn't already there. And I have to pat myself on the back: I did a pretty good job keeping POV on this topic.

I have no problems with slumlords; they provide a valuable service. Slumlords keep rent prices low by not spending the money to fix a property. Those that have the least amount to spend on housing (the poor and students) have a place to live thanks, in part, to slumlords.

Ironically, the people who tend to hate slumlords tend to dislike gentrification. The former makes it easier for the poor to afford housing and the latter makes it harder. Not that I have anything against gentrification, either (one man's trash is another man's fabulous townhouse). In fact, they need each other. If a neighborhood gentrifies, the poor that live there need to move. If every other place is forced to be neat and clean, they have no where to live. Slumlords sell them a roof over their heads they can afford.

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