NMHC recently released a number of resources focusing on the negative impacts rent control policies can have on communities and providing details outlining where rent control policies are already in force. Going forward NMHC, on behalf of the apartment industry, will continue to make the case against rent control – including the Costa-Hawkins debate.
For decades, economists and academics on both sides of the aisle have debunked the idea that rent control will improve availability of affordable housing. It does nothing to promote the production of rental housing and allows no mechanism for increasing supply. Rent control laws exacerbate shortages, cause existing buildings to deteriorate and disproportionately benefit higher-income households. Put simply, it raises housing costs and hurts affordability overall.
The NMHC Research Foundation released new research on rent control that confirms these negative economic and social impacts. Dr. Lisa Sturtevant conducted an in-depth review of rent control-related academic research. She examined research published from 1972 to 2017 and found that:
- Rent control and rent stabilization laws lead to a reduction in the available supply of rental housing in a community;
- Rent control policies generally lead to higher rents in the uncontrolled market;
- Rent control and rent stabilization policies do a poor job at targeting benefits;
- Rent control can cause renters to continue to live in units that are too small, too large or not in the right locations to best meet their housing needs;
- There are significant fiscal costs associated with implementing a rent control program;
- Rent-controlled buildings can potentially suffer from deterioration or lack of investment; and,
- Rent control policies can hold rents of controlled units at lower levels but not under all circumstances.
NMHC has also released a chart and interactive map that breaks down rent control laws by individual state. These resources organize all U.S. states into one of the following categories: states with rent control, states that preempt rent control, states that preempt mandatory inclusion zoning, Dillons Rule states, or states with no rent control/no preemption.
The debate regarding rent control has, and will continue to be, an issue of existential importance to the industry and NMHC.
To learn more about rent control, please visit our rent control research and insights page.