Rent control is returning to some communities. But evidence suggests there are better ways to keep low-income people housed.
How can Americans make housing more affordable? In many places, housing prices are rising much more rapidly than wages. The market is bad enough to revive movements for rent control. For decades, of course, some cities have frozen rents or limited rent increases. Last month, for the first time, an entire state imposed rent control – Oregon. Greg Rosalsky from NPR’s Planet Money podcast asked if there are better ways to make housing affordable.
GREG ROSALSKY, BYLINE: Back in 1994, San Francisco renters had a lot to be happy about. The 49ers were about to win a Super Bowl. The Internet was taking off. And a new law, which expanded rent control around the city, told a lot of landlords they could only raise rents to about half the rate of inflation. That was only about 1 percent that year, which was the lowest rent increase most renters had seen in over a decade.