Could encouraging renting provide a more sustainable future — and a better quality of life for all of us? In Greater Greater Washington, David C. makes a timely argument about why we should encourage renting and mobility to reduce sprawl (via Streetsblog LA):
some have been advocating that the government stop subsidizing home ownership, arguing that it locks people to a place, and when the economy goes sour people need the flexibility to go where the jobs are. I would say that we need to take it farther and that, in addition to allowing the unemployed to move to work, encourage the employed to move closer to work.
Now back to the issue of rent being a “waste” of money. How is it a waste to exchange money for the right to live somewhere? My rent is reasonable, and renting enables me to live in a city center, near my job, great restaurants, public transportation, etc. That’s all value added for me, since purchasing a home right now would mean moving to the suburbs, driving more, and seeing my community of friends less. Add in the money I save by renting (and sharing my apartment with a friend), and I don’t feel like I’ve wasted anything. That extra money is used for my retirement fund, vacations, entertainment, etc. So renting helps increase my long-term financial stability while also increasing my quality of life.
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