The Rent Control Debate

The Rent Control Debate

The Rent Control Debate

The Rent Control Debate


The most comprehensive and authoritative treatment of the rent control issue to date, this volume addresses: the conditions that provoke interest in rent control, the outcome of implementing the policy, the instruments used for evaluating the program, and its impact of local govenrments and housing markets. The contributors describe in detail two prime examples of rent control--in New York and California--and assess rent control's value for America's political economy.

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The literature on rent control is fragmentary, its data local. Although there has been a proliferation of local studies, no synthesis has emerged. The needs of professionals, scholars, and citizens with interest in the subject thus have not been fully met.

It is a time of important transition in the housing market and great uncertainty in the politics of housing. It is time to define the major issues related to rent control, provide guidelines to inform policy, and establish a foundation for more extensive and systematic study. Such are the purposes of this book.

Chapter 1 describes the conditions that have brought rent control to the surface of public consciousness, and it outlines the reservations and criticisms with which rent control initiatives typically are faced.

Chapter 2 broadens the framework, outlines the relevant features of the fast-changing national housing system, and directly links rent control with the services that the rental sector will be called upon to render in the years just ahead.

Chapters 3 and 4 form a pair. Together, they describe the rent control reality in considerable and balanced detail. The former provides an overview of the New York City law as it has evolved since World War II and probes the effects of that law through time. The latter analyzes rent control in California. Contrary to New York, where the experience is lengthy and geographically limited, California's rent control is of recent origin, is scattered throughout the state, and is extremely diverse in its characteristics.

Chapters 5 and 6 constitute another pair; they bring a method-

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