Contributed photo/Kristy TG

Housing shortage or ‘nanny state?’ | Letters

It would make more sense to let housing issues sort themselves out. The good intentions of well-meaning people often suffer unintended consequences.

It’s folly to think that by making permits or inspections more costly or stringent that owners are going to change their property from vacation rental to long term. The economies of scale are just not viable for that to happen. What might happen is that future vacation rentals will be discouraged by the red tape and the island et al. will suffer a loss of tourism related business. Let’s not forget that we are tourism driven.

If vacation renters can’t find housekeepers and other day laborers to employ they will solve their problem via other means. They will find accommodation for laborers and increase wages if needed. If restaurants and tourism related businesses can’t find employees they will find solutions too. Businesses should not rely on fake economies – if they do, our local economy will suffer unintended consequences by driving growth opportunities elsewhere.

By tipping the balance of housing costs, we run the risk of attracting persons and lifestyles that are in conflict with, or very different from, our local culture. It’s a safe assumption that we live here because we like it here. We like the look, we like the lifestyle, we like the neighbors, etc. There are huge risks associated with tampering.

Drop the nanny state and let housing find a natural solution….it can and will if we leave it alone.

Rikki Swin

San Juan Island