Half of Californians say housing prices are making them think about leaving the state, and an awful lot of them think rent control is the answer:
About half of the state’s voters – 48 percent – said they consider the problem of housing affordability “extremely serious.” Concerns are more prevalent in areas seen as ground zero for the crisis, including the Bay Area, where 65 percent of voters described the problem that way.
The issue has led to an intensifying debate over rent control in California. In Los Angeles County, 68 percent of voters said they support stronger limits on rent increases, while 63 percent in the Bay Area said so.
The majority of support for rent control is among renters, who have seen prices grow nearly 4 percent since last year, according to data compiled by the real estate listing service Apartment List. California’s median rent for a one-bedroom is now at $1,750, while a two-bedroom is $2,110, Apartment List found. Among the most expensive cities are San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento.
Of course, being progressives, they don’t bother with history – and I doubt the history of rent-control in places like New York City is covered in the textbooks progressives are allowed to read.
But in New York, it worked a little like this:
- Rent controls were established
- Their incomes constricted by rent control, landlords fell behind on the little things, like routine repairs.
- City officials leaned on the landlords to make the repairs, prices and income be damned, and threw on fines to make the whole mess even less affordable.
- Sick to death of being stuck between a regulatory rock and a cost hard place, the landlords tried to sell out.
- Local regulations – like the ones Ray Dehn proposes in Minneapolis – make selling a rental property a daunting prospect. Landlords unloaded properties at firesale prices or, if the neighborhood was bad enough and the debt intractable enough, walked away – creating either gentrification-ready areas of cheap buildings or, for less desirable locations, acres of vacant buildings ready to be turned into crack dens.
- Alarmed by the decline in “affordable housing” caused by their own policies, the city’s government ratcheted up the regulations even more; as the saying goes, the beatings will continue until morale improves…
Given the mindless “progressivism” of California government, this will hasten the state’s decline. The bad news? It’ll also increase the number of Californians bringing their bobble-headed politics to sane states.