Despite Growing Housing Crisis, Rent Control Makes a Comeback

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Protesters in Oregon (via Rental Housing Journal)

With the ever-increasing lack of affordable housing in this country the last thing we need is more rent control – especially in urban areas where across the board demand is high and supply is low.  A recent story in Multi-Housing News reminds us that while rent control “seemed to be on the ropes a few years ago” it started rearing its ugly head in places like New York, California and Oregon – all of which passed new rent control measures in 2019 and likely paving the way for others to follow suit.

“Unfortunately, what passes for action to alleviate the crisis is often shortsighted. Solutions that are more likely to have an impact—such as increased density, a streamlined entitlement process and additional subsidies—are difficult to implement in the current political climate.”

“Of the rent control measures passed to date, New York’s is the most punitive and has had the most immediate impact. The larger problem, though, is twofold: Once in place, it is easier to progressively tighten the screws and make the laws more onerous for property owners. The second problem is that rent control gives the appearance of action and diverts attention from the real solution, which is that we need to build more units that are affordable.”

“Alleviating the affordable housing issue in the U.S. will take commitment and cooperation from builders, municipalities and other stakeholders. The depth of the crisis has spurred action, but the fact that rent control remains the first response for some states is a sign that finding solutions is likely to be an arduous process riddled with bumps.”

Click here to read the full story at MultiHousingNews.com.

 

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Director of Education & Outreach, National Real Estate Investors Association

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