1st Edition

Rent Control in North America and Four European Countries Regulation and the Rental Housing Market

By Michael Teitz Copyright 1998
    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    259 Pages
    by Routledge

    Rent control, the governmental regulation of the level of payment and tenure rights for rental housing, occupies a small but unique niche within the broad domain of public regulation of markets. The price of housing cannot be regulated by establishing a single price for a given level of quality, as other commodities such as electricity and sugar have been regulated at various times. Rent regulation requires that a price level be established for each individual housing unit, which in turn implies a level of complexity in structure and oversight that is unequaled.Housing provides a sense of security, defines our financial and emotional well-being, and influences our self-definition. Not surprisingly, attempts to regulate its price arouse intense controversy. Residential rent control is praised as a guarantor of affordable housing, excoriated as an indefensible distortion of the market, and both admired and feared as an attempt to transform the very meaning of housing access and ownership.This book provides a thorough assessment of the evolution of rent regulation in North American cities. Contributors sketch rent control's origins, legal status, economic impacts, political dynamics, and social meaning. Case studies of rent regulation in specific North American cities from New York and Washington, DC, to Berkeley and Toronto are also presented. This is an important primer for students, advocates, and practitioners of housing policy and provides essential insights on the intersection of government and markets.

    Rent Control: Its Origins, History, and Controversies, Rent Control Legislation and Administration, The Courts and Rent Control, The Economics of Rent Regulation, The Politics of Rent Control, A Social Perspective on Rent Control, The Success and Failure of Strong Rent Control in the City of Berkeley, 1978 to 1995, Moderating Market Pressures for Washington, D.C., Rental Housing 110 Rent Stabilization in Los Angeles, A Moderate Approach to Regulation, New Jersey's Rent Control Movement, Rent Regulation in New York City, A Protracted Saga, Toronto's Changing Rent Control Policy, Controlling ImMobile Home Space Rents, Conclusion


    Michael B. Teitz is Director of Research at the Public Policy Institute of California and Professor Emeritus of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1963 until 1998. He has written and consulted widely on housing economics and policy, working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the municipal governments of New York City, Los Angeles, and Ber-keley, California, among others. His work on rent control began when he served as project leader for the Rand Corporation's studies of housing and rent control in New York City between 1968 and 1970. Subsequently, he was responsible for the specifications of a series of studies of rent stabiliza-tion in Los Angeles from 1984 to 1994. In addition, he has written about rent control in California and has studied its impacts in Berkeley. In 1988, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for research on rent control.