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The San Diego Union-Tribune: When will politicians get that rent control makes housing crisis worse?

March 21, 2019

California voters decisively rejected Proposition 10 in November, wisely choosing not to invalidate a state law that bars local governments from imposing new types of rent control on single-family homes or apartments built after 1995. But to no one’s surprise, the state’s housing crisis is once again leading to a new push for rent control in the state Capitol.

Two troubling measures have emerged. Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, has introduced a bill that would dramatically weaken the current anti-rent control law by allowing cities and counties to control the rent on apartments and single-family homes that are more than 10 years old, although it would exempt landlords of small properties. Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, has introduced a bill that would put a percentage ceiling on how much landlords could increase rent annually. He has not settled on a number yet. The bill would allow for increases for inflation.

But history shows rent control makes housing problems worse. Economists overwhelmingly agree that it reduces the quantity and quality of housing, and a study published last year by three Stanford academics found rent control in San Francisco led to a sharp decline in available units. The best and only answer to a housing shortage is more housing.

— The San Diego Union-Tribune