Building More Apartments Won’t Reduce the Rent, Says Rent Control Group

Housing and rent cost too much in big cities. That means we need to get rid of antiquated zoning statutes and build, build, build. But wait:

The Federal Reserve recently determined that increases in supply won’t automatically reduce rents. New York City’s former planning director said the “more housing” theory didn’t work in practice there. Zillow data show that adding market-rate units only benefits the rich: Though rents have declined slightly for luxury rentals, rents for working people continue to rise.

This is not coming from some neoliberal shill or NIMBY die-hard. It’s coming from the progressives at the LA Tenants Union. What’s up with that?

It’s simple: the LATU wants to convince us that more construction isn’t enough. We also need rent control, which means that everyone should vote yes on Proposition 10, an initiative on the November ballot that would repeal a California law limiting rent control.

That’s good to know, I guess. But when more construction and more rent control also fail to bring down prices, I wonder what we’ll need next?

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.