Ward 5: Jack Perenick and Naima Sait

By admin
I live in

Ward 5
FAC

in

Somerville
GPE

, where there are

two
CARDINAL

candidates running for city council

this fall
DATE

:


Jack Perenick
PERSON

and

Naima Sait
PERSON

. On

Sunday
DATE

both of them stopped by our neighborhood block party, and we got a chance to talk. As in

2021
DATE

, the high cost of housing continues to be my primary concern for

Somerville
GPE

, and I asked them both what their views were.

It was clear that they both care deeply about resolving the housing crisis, and seemed like they would prioritize trying to improve the situation, but when we got into the details there were clear differences.

I talked to

Jack
PERSON

first, and he told me he was strongly in favor of upzoning, especially along the major streets, in the squares, and around transit. His view was that allowing developers to build taller and maximizing the number of units built was our best tool for bringing prices down. He didn’t think rent stabilization would work well: rents are already much too high. As we talked it became clear that the specific details of housing policy were something he had thought a lot about and where he cared about fine distinctions.

I talked to

Naima
PERSON

later, after getting something to eat, and she was in favor of affordable housing, especially city-built, and wary of developers exploiting the community. She was very interested in tenant protections, and gave the example of rent stabilization. When I asked if what kind of stabilization she’d like to see, and she told me that there are lots of different kinds people propose before moving on to another voter.

I think which candidate is best on housing depends primarily on what policies you think would help the most.

Jack
PERSON

‘s views are close to my own, and cities that have gone with upzoning have seen decreases in real rents from

2017
DATE

to

2023
CARDINAL

:

Location Nominal Real

Minneapolis
GPE

MN

+1%
PERCENT

-24%

Portland
GPE

OR

+2%
PERCENT


-23%
PERCENT


Tysons VA
ORG


+4%
PERCENT


-21%
PERCENT

New

Rochelle NY
GPE

+7% -18%

National
ORG


+31%
PERCENT

+6% Ward

5
CARDINAL

,

Somerville
GPE

MA

+31%
PERCENT

+6%

Estimates for Ward 5 from comparing the estimated average cost of a

two
CARDINAL

-bedroom apartment in

Ward 5
FAC


between 2017-09
DATE

and

2023-09
DATE

; all others are from

Pew
ORG

‘s analysis of

Apartment List’s
ORG

rent estimates.

While I like both of them and would be happy being represented by either, I’d much rather see

Jack
PERSON

become

one
CARDINAL

of the

thirteen
CARDINAL

people most responsible for directing

Somerville
GPE

housing policy.