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To the editor: The Jan. 17 article "Property managers oppose just-cause eviction proposal” frames the basic human need of housing as a business opportunity impacting property owners rather than a housing crisis impacting human beings. Everyone needs and deserves safe and consistent housing. You deserve housing, I deserve housing, all of our community members deserve housing —even those who do not make “good tenants.” Housing should not be dependent on the “goodness” of those being housed — the just-cause eviction proposal aims to take out the subjective power property owners currently have.

The article implies that tenants who are “causing discord and harm” — such as smoking or making noise — deserve to lose their housing. Have we considered the discord and harm that losing one’s housing inflicts on individuals and families in our community? Not renewing a lease based on the owner’s discretion is not “a harmless way to separate” since it has the potential of displacing community members and leaving them without access to housing. Those who provide housing have the opportunity to reframe their role in our community through humanizing our community members and their need for housing. Property owners sign up for the potential of rising costs and risks — financial, material, and otherwise— when making a business out of a basic human need.

There are far more creative ways to alleviate issues that arise that do not leave people unhoused during a housing crisis. We need to protect our ability to obtain and keep housing, rather than protecting the right to deny people's access to housing.

Hannah Sorila

Brattleboro, Jan. 18