Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Affordable Housing

Via Marginal Revolution is this letter from a resident of Stockholm to residents of Seattle which is considering a rent control ordinance which asks:
Seattle, you need to ask your citizens this: How would citizens like it if they walked into a rental agency and the agent told them to register and come back in 10 years?
Accompanying the letter is a map provided to rental applicants by the Stockholm City Council's rental housing service.  The numbers next to the names of the residential districts represent waiting times in years to obtain an apartment.

http://www.smartgrowthseattle.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/KEYs-2014-12-01-Stockholm-Housing-Queue0001-1.jpg There is actually not much surprising in the contents of the letter as the experience it relates is similar to jurisdictions in the United States such as San Francisco and New York City which have combined rent control with restrictive zoning and then seen property costs and non-rent controlled prices skyrocket along with shortages of access to rent-controlled units.  The only thing surprising about it is the surprise the proponents of rent control express over the results.  Of course, like most Progressive initiatives, the failure of regulation to achieve the desired results does not lead it proponents to rethink their basic propositions; instead it is used to justify further government intervention.  Progressivism is not a learning ideology.

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