Letters: Discuss real world of landlords, tenants
Regarding "Eudaly: ADUs could aid crisis" (Nov. 2 Tribune): Hopefully Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and her chief of staff, Marshall Runkel, will gain some elementary landlord business knowledge when Runkel builds two ADUs, one inside his house and one in his yard. He excitedly explains that he can build both ADUs for $200,000 with loan payments of $1,500-$1,600 per month and rental income of $800-$900 each, "enough to pay off his loan."
Runkel soon will learn that there is more to being a landlord than simply paying off his loan. According to his calculations, he will not have the cash flow to cover increased property taxes, utilities, vacancy, maintenance and turnover fees. In addition, if the new renters cause a problem he cannot prove, such as dealing drugs, disturbing Runkel's neighbors in the middle of the night, or abusing Runkel's property, he will need to pay them thousands of dollars, along with their no-cause eviction.
Runkel is so excited about his proposed ADUs, "absolutely a home run" he says, that he fails to understand that $1,000 per month rent to live in his basement is not exactly an affordable level of rent.
Perhaps this will open the door to a real world discussion of Portland housing issues, with an opportunity for both sides to discuss the comprehensive issues facing both tenants and landlords.
Ralph W. Fullerton
Statistics on wages can be skewed
Regarding the story "Wages edge up, home prices cool off" (Oct. 24 Tribune): Nowadays, citing average hourly earnings, as the PSU economics department chair did, is a lazy or tendentious political act: It makes working class people appear better off than they are. It only takes a few wealthy people getting wealthier to skew the average upward.
Economywide averages of wages and incomes made sense when there was much less inequality, such as in the period between the end of World War II and 1970, when the complacent slogan "a rising tide raises all boats" more or less applied.
In today's vast and growing unequal economy, the median should be the most cited metric of wages or incomes when a gloss is warranted because it better represents reality.