Get the Facts


Academic research and experience show that rent control doesn’t work. Here are the facts.

The Manhattan Institute

Urban Policy & Housing Issue Brief: Rent Control Does Not Make Housing More Affordable

American Economic Review – Stanford University, UC Berkely, and University of North Carolina

The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco

Investors are slow to build in rent-controlled cities which decreases housing supply. Here are the facts.

Local Housing Market in Turmoil After St. Paul Rent Control Vote

If few communities make changes, revenue losses would be minor. If many communities pass strong rent control, revenue losses could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

NMHC Research:

Nearly six in 10 (58%) of surveyed multifamily firms indicate they are reducing or avoiding investment in rent controlled markets, and another 15% of firms are considering cutting back in those markets. Conversely, only a quarter (27%) of firms are willing to keep their current or add new investments in rent controlled markets.

Fully 87.5% avoid working in jurisdictions with rent control.

Among the conclusions Dr. Sturtevant’s review found are 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.

The Effect of Rent Control on New Housing Supply: A Bay Area Case Study (2020)

  • Rent control introduces uncertainty for investors and developers, affecting return on investment calculations.
  • The absence of or limited exemptions for new constructions under rent control policies can lead to a decrease in the development of new housing units.
  • The report suggests that stringent rent control measures could impede the overall growth of housing supply in affected areas.

The Takoma Park Rent Control Analysis (2005)

  • Rent stabilization in Takoma Park has led to rents being significantly below market levels, which may discourage new housing development due to lower potential returns on investment.
  • The decline in the number of rental units by 14% since 1990 suggests that rent control policies might be contributing to a decrease in housing supply.
  • The report indicates that Takoma Park’s rent control is more restrictive than most, potentially creating a substantial disincentive for new housing production or reinvestment in existing housing.
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