In his Feb. 16 op-ed column, “Rent control’s absurdity,” George F. Will depicted property owners as the victims of government regulations that, in his words, “advance no legitimate state interest.” However, nobody is forced to own rent-regulated buildings in New York City; few can afford to, and most who do profit from their investments.

I suggest that among the legitimate state interests should be affordable housing for low- and moderate-income workers who provide essential services and for the retired elderly who want to stay in their homes and communities.

Rent regulations help maintain diversity and stability in neighborhoods, which increase property values. Long-term tenants also materially improve and maintain properties and contribute to the preservation of buildings and the increase in property values.

Yes, there are affluent tenants who use legal dodges to distort the original intent of the rules and landlords who abuse regulated tenants who cannot afford to protect themselves. But on the whole the system works.

Annlinn Kruger, Silver Spring