Rent control is making a comeback in New York.
On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Democrats leaders of the State Senate and Assembly reached an agreement on legislation that would abolish rules that give building owners leeway in deregulating apartments and close loopholes that allow landlords to raise rents on tenants.
This legislation would directly affect approximately 1 million rent-controlled apartments in New York City. These apartments under rent control account for more than 40 percent of the city’s rental stock.
Municipalities outside of the New York city metro area will be allowed to craft their own regulations.
This rent control package is expected to be approved in the Senate this week. This is part of a growing trend across the nation, where activists are responding to rising housing costs with more rent control.
Despite rent control’s lofty intentions, these types of laws have a proven track record of creating housing shortages and reducing the overall quality of housing in certain areas. Ultimately, the best way to provide quality housing is through a free market, which entails getting rid of land-use and zoning regulations that prevent new housing units from being built.
A restricted housing supply will always turn into an expensive housing market. In the end, affordable housing cannot be legislated. Rent control measures are just feelgood policies that end up creating massive unintended consequences for the people that are supposed to benefit from these policies.