Rent control in California

Studies consistently demonstrate that price controls cripple the commodity they regulate. This appraisal holds true in the California communities that enforce price ceilings on rents.

When rent control is in place, developers have fewer incentives to build apartments, exacerbating housing shortfalls. Likewise, owners of rent controlled units have scant motivation to maintain their units, let alone make upgrades. Even as communities fall into disrepair, prices across the market rise because new housing isn’t getting built.

Meanwhile, rent controlled frequently aren’t occupied by the people they are intended to help. Often, middle-  to high-income professionals secure rent controlled units, and once they’re in place, remain entrenched for years, if not decades.

Lower-income workers and their families are relegated to higher-priced housing, far from jobs and schools.