Rent Deregulation in California and Massachusetts:
Politics, Policy, and Impacts
Part II (separate HTML File)
1. Abbreviations: LAT (Los Angeles Times); SJMN (San Jose Mercury-News); SB (Sacramento Bee); BG (Boston Globe).
2. The California law not only allows landlords to raise rents for vacant apartments, but also bans controls on new dwellings and permanently exempts single-family homes and condominium from controls once tenants move out. It also bans rent controls on new construction. The single-family provision effects laws in Los Gatos, Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. In San Jose, rent control applies only to triplexes and apartment buildings. East Palo Alto, Cotati, and Los Gatos had imposed rent controls on new construction. The law phases-in the provisions over three years, allowing landlords to raise rents 25% every time a tenant moves out -- up to twice in three years. See Hallye Jordan, "Measure Eases 'Extreme' Rent Control Advancing," SJMN, July 13, 1995 and Edwin Garcia, "East Palo Alto Primed for Rent Hikes Bill," SJMN, July 26, 1995.
3. Rent regulations on mobile homes are not included in this discussion unless specifically noted.
4. See, for example, B. Guy Peters, American Public Policy: Promise and Performance, fourth edition, Chatham, New Jersey: Chatham House, 1996; Thomas Dye, Understanding Public Policy, eighth edition, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1995; Donald Wells and Chris Hamilton, The Policy Puzzle, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1996; James Anderson, Public Policymaking: An Introduction, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990; and John W. Kingdom, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies, second edition, New York: HarperCollins, 1995.
5. For a general discussion of this topic, see Jeffrey Henig, Public Policy and Federalism: Issues in State and Local Politics, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. For a specific discussion of the influence of federalism on housing policy see R. Allen Hays, The Federal Government and Urban Housing: Ideology and Change in Public Policy, second edition, Albany: SUNY Press, 1995; Mary Nenno, Ending the Stalemate: Moving Housing and Urban Development Into the Mainstream of America's Future, Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1996; and Peter Dreier, "The New Politics of Housing: How to Rebuild the Constituency for a Progressive Federal Housing Policy," Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 63, No. 1, Winter 1997, pp. 5-27.
6. During national emergencies, such as World War 2, the federal government reluctantly imposed rent controls on localities. But even matters such as building codes and health and safety requirements are left to states, while matters such as land use, zoning, and enforcement are left to localities.
7. Discussion of and examples of the resource mobilization perspective can be found in the following: Michael Lipsky, Protest in City Politics, Chicago: Rand McNally, 1970; John McCarthy and Mayer Zald, "Resource Mobilization and Social Movements," American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 82, 1977; Pamela Oliver, "If You Don't Do It, Nobody Will," American Sociological Review, Vol. 49, 1984; Aldon Morris, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, New York: Free Press, 1984; J. Craig Jenkins and Charles Perrow, "Insurgency of the Powerless," American Sociological Review, Vol. 42, 1977; Aldon Morris and Carol Mueller, eds., Frontiers of Social Movement Theory, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992; J. Craig Jenkins and Bert Klandermans, eds., The Politics of Social Protest, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995.
8. The best discussion of this topic is Michael Lipsky, Protest in City Politics, Chicago: Rand McNally, 1970.
9. See, for example, Todd Gitlin, The Whole World Is Watching, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980.
10. See Peter Bachrach and Morton Baratz, Power and Poverty, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.
11. Peter Bachrach and Morton Baratz, Power and Poverty, New York: Oxford University Press, 1979, p. 43.
12. See James Smith, The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the New Policy Elite, New York: The Free Press, 1993; Thomas R. Dye, Who's Running America?, sixth edition, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1995; Joseph Peschek, Policy-Planning Organizations Elite Agendas and America's Rightward Turn, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987; G. William Domhoff, The Power Elite and the State: How Policy Is Made in America, Hawthorne, New York: Aldine De Gruyter, 1990; G. William Domhoff, The Powers That Be, New York: Vintage Books, 1979; Buying a Movement: Right-Wing Foundations and American Politics, Washington, D.C.: People for the American Way, 1996; Beth Schulman, "Foundations for a Movement: How the Right Wing Subsidizes Its Press," Extra!, March/April 1995.
13. The discussion of tenant activism draws on: Alan David Heskin, Tenants and the American Dream: Ideology and the Tenant Movement, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1983; Peter Dreier, "The Tenants Movement in the United States," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Vol. 8, No. 2, l984, pp. 255-279; Peter Dreier, "The Status of Tenants in the United States," Social Problems, Vol. 30, No. 2, December l982, pp. l79-l98; Ronald Lawson, ed., The Tenant Movement in New York City, 1904-1984, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1986; Peter Marcuse, "The Rise of Tenant Organizations," in Jon Pynoos, Robert Schafer, and Chester Hartman, eds., Housing Urban America, New York: Aldine Publishing Company, 1980; Kenneth Baar and Dennis Keating, "Rent Control in the United States," and John Gilderbloom, "Tenants' Movements in the United States," in Elizabeth Huttman and Willem van Vliet, eds., Handbook of Housing and the Build Environment in the United States, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1988; Stella M. Capel and John Gilderbloom, Community versus Commodity: Tenants and the American City, Albany: SUNY Press, 1992; and Gwendolyn Wright, Rebuilding the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981.
14. See Ray Lubove, The Progressives and the Slums: Tenement House Reform in New York City, 1890-1917, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1962; and Gwendolyn Wright, Building the Dream: A Social History of Housing in America, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981.
15. See Michael Lipsky, Protest in City Politics, Chicago: Rand McNally, 1970.
16. In addition to pushing state governments to strengthen housing codes and eviction laws, and pressuring local inspection departments to enforce them, tenant activists fought to change the court system itself. Most judges are unfamiliar with complex tenant-landlord laws, so activists have worked to establish housing courts that specialize in the area. In New York City, Chicago, Boston, Worcester, and several other cities, housing courts became an important battleground for defending and expanding tenants' rights. In addition to having a more intimate knowledge of the law, housing court judges and their staffs -- overwhelmed by the large case load of tenants facing eviction or living in squalid conditions -- often became more sympathetic to their plight.
17. Owing its 1976 election in part to the low-income vote, the Carter Administration revitalized many programs that provided staff and support services to grassroots community and tenant groups. These include VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), the CETA job training program and the Community Services Administration. Carter appointed a National Commission on Neighborhoods, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development added a division concerned with neighborhood issues and citizen involvement. While most of these programs were targeted to low and moderate-income groups, their presence has a spillover effect. Low-income tenant groups with CETA workers or VISTA volunteers would free resources that could be used for organizing middle-income tenants. Tenant newsletters or self-help manuals published by low-income tenant groups would find their way to middle-income groups as well. Also, the legal reforms concerning tenant-landlord law achieved during the late 1960s and early 1970s -- particularly protection against retaliatory evictions -- made tenant organizing easier and less risky. The cadre of experienced organizers, advocate planners and poverty lawyers from the 1960s came out of the woodwork, eager to make the tenants' movement an effective political force.
18. Armstrong based his amendment on a highly-publicized but equally dubious study by journalism William Tucker, purporting to show that rent control increased homelessness. SeeRichard Appelbaum, Michael Dolney, Peter Dreier, and John Gilderbloom, "Scapegoating Rent Control: Masking the Causes of Homelessness," Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 57, No. 2, Spring 1991, pp.153-164.
19. For discussion of the resistance to urban renewal in Boston, see Alan Lupo, Frank Colcord and Edmund Fowler, Rites of Way: The Politics of Transportation in Boston, Boston: Little Brown, 1971; Herbert Gans, The Urban Villagers, New York: Free Press, 1962; Gordon Fellman, The Deceived Majority, New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1973; Thomas O'Connor, Building a New Boston: Politics and Urban Renewal 1950 to 1970, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993; For San Francisco, see Chester Hartman, Yerba Buena: Land Grab And Community Resistance in San Francisco, San Francisco: Glide Publications, 1974.
20. Herbert Selesnick, Rent Control, Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1976.
21. Boston had adopted a voluntary rent control system in 1969 which was superseded by the 1970 law. See Gerald J. Clark, "Rent Control in Massachusetts," Massachusetts Law Review, Winter 1988, pp. 160-174.
22. Boston enacted a strong rent control law in 1970 that covered all private rental housing except owner-occupied two- and three-unit buildings. Subsidized and public housing also were exempted. In Boston, where about three-quarters of all residents were renters, rent control was a controversial issue that mobilized considerable political momentum. The Boston law, however, exempted many Boston renters -- those in public and HUD-subsidized housing and those in two- and three-unit buildings, which accounted for much of the city's rental housing stock.
23. Matthew Brelis, "SJC Rules on Rents; Voters May Settle Control Issue in Fall," BG, July 15, 1994.
24. Mayor White further demonstrated his opposition to rent control by appointing people who were against the policy as members of the five-person rent control board. He also kept the agency understaffed and underfunded.
25. A wave of condo conversions in the late l970s and early l980s fueled a movement to limit conversions and evictions that led to a mosaic of local ordinances and a statewide law. "Condomania," as the media labeled it, was a symptom of the state's hot housing market, triggered tenant protest across the state, leading to local -- and eventually statewide -- laws to protect tenants from arbitrary displacement. MTO also organized residents of mobile home parks. Many smaller cities and towns enacted laws to protect renters in mobile home parks from rent increases and evictions. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, MTO also mobilized tenants living in federal- and state-subsidized housing who were threatened with huge rent increases and possible eviction.
26. The same year, tenant mobilization helped elect tenant leader David Scondras, founder of the Symphony Tenants Organizing Project, along with several other pro-tenant candidates, to the City Council.
27. Shortly after assuming office, the Flynn administration introduced comprehensive tenant protection legislation. From the outset, Flynn and his aides recognized that this was an uphill, perhaps impossible, fight. The 1983 City Council elections inaugurated a new system wherein nine members represented geographic districts and four were elected at large. Only three of the nine Council districts had strong tenant organizations, reflecting the location of the city's private rental housing stock. Only one of the at-large Councilors supported Flynn's plan, reflecting the power of the real estate lobby in the City Council. The tabloid Boston Herald was strongly opposed to rent control in its editorial and news pages. The Boston Globe offered mixed support. Progressive editorial writer Kirk Scharfenberg wrote supportive editorials and columns. To the Globe's news reporters, however, the rent control story was not about the housing crisis, or the power of the real estate lobby, but about whether the new Mayor could win his controversial proposal.
28. Tenants in de-controlled apartments (units previously covered by rent control) could initiate a grievance if annual rent increases exceeded 15% -- a rate substantially higher than the inflation rate. In addition, tenants could only be evicted for "just cause."
29. In this section, my account relies heavily on an unpublished paper and undated by Patricia Cantor, "Twenty Five Years of Rent Control in Massachusetts," which focuses on Cambridge. A short version of this study was published in Shelterforce, March/April 1995 under the title, "Massachusetts Defeats Rent Control."
30. Cantor, page 11.
31. This is the same epithet that opponents used to describe Santa Monica after tenant activists enacted rent control there.
32. For example: Jeff Jacoby, "At Stake in Question 9: Fairness for Property Owners," BG, September 8, 1994.
33. Howard Manly, "Rent Control Finally On Ballot," BG, July 31, 1994.
34. "All my tenants are affluent, every one of them," one Cambridge landlord told the Globe. "There is not one of them that is needy." See Matthew Brelis, "Landlords, Tenants Clash on Rent Control," BG, October 12, 1994. Another Globe article recounted the situation of a Cambridge landlord who owns a four-family house and has an $8-an-hour job managing a food pantry. See Matt Carroll, "Showtime for Rent Control," BG, October 23, 1994. This story repeated MHC's chief examples of well-off tenants living in regulated apartments -- Cambridge Mayor Ken Reeves and Supreme Judicial Court Justice Ruth Abrams. Rent control opponents used the fact that Reeves, who was part of Cambridge's pro-rent control majority on the City Council, lived in a rent controlled apartment, as a symbol of how the system was being abused. Reeves argued that he earned only $43,000 as mayor and that he served full-time, putting his law practice on hold. See Howard Manly, "Reeves' Calling to Community Service Fulfilled in Role as Cambridge Mayor," BG, May 22, 1994.
35. The study found that in 1987, 70% of the residents of rent controlled units had incomes below the Boston area median income ($37,400 for a family of four) and that only 9% had incomes above 150% of the regional median income ($56,000 for a family of four). But in a classic case of selective perception, SPOA and much of the local media focused on the rent control glass being 30% empty rather than 70% full. SPOA focused on the study's findings that relatively few rent control tenants were elderly or families with children -- overlooking the obvious point that landlords select their tenants. (SPOA also claimed that the study was biased).
36. SPOA also sought to challenge Cambridge's rent control law in court, but in March 1993 its suit was dismissed.
37. "Judge With Rent Control Unit Abstains on Debate, Decision," BG, July 15, 1994.
38. Matthew Brelis, "SJC Rules on Rents; Voters May Settle Control Issue in Fall," BG, July 15, 1994.
39. Interview with Ed Shanahan, April 28, 1997.
40. Interview with Ed Shanahan, April 28, 1997.
41. In December 1993, the secretary of state ruled that they had not collected sufficient valid signatures. MHC went to court to overturn the decision. Tenant groups counter-sued (claiming widespread fraud and forgery). The Suffolk Superior Court ruled that MHC had met the minimum number of signatures by "at least 34." (See Pamela Ferdinand, "Legislature to Get Rent Control Petition," BG, May 1, 1994). The City of Cambridge filed suit claiming that the proposed ballot measure was unconstitutional. (See Jennifer Bloom, "City Joins Rent-Control Suit," BG, March 11, 1994; Jennifer Bloom, "Rent Control War Intensified," BG, March 30, 1994). The state Supreme Judicial Court rejected the argument in July 1994. (See Matthew Brelis, "SJC Rules on Rents; Voters May Settle Control Issue in Fall," BG, July 15, 1994).
42. Obviously, rent control advocates viewed SPOA's efforts as one-sided, as reflected in these observations by Patricia Cantor (p. 15):
"Few, if any, stories reported the thousands of tenants able to afford to live in Cambridge only because rent control kept rents at reasonable levels, or how the rent board's rent adjustment formulas strongly favored landlords, or how because the removal permit ordinance removed the speculative drive from the rental market, Cambridge was saved from the 1980s' real estate boom (and corresponding bust). No one read about how many of the SPOA landlords were able to buy their buildings because rent control kept property priced down, or how Cambridge retained its economic diversity (avoiding becoming only a place affordable to the rich or the very poor who benefitted from subsidized or public housing) because of rent control."
43. See, for example, Metthew Brelis, "Board at a Loss Over Cambridge Condo Law," BG, July 15, 1994.
44. Larry Tye, "A Globe Reporter Recounts His Experience in Selling His Apartment," BG, April 17, 1994.
45. Bella English, "Held Hostage by Rent Control," BG, November 2, 1994; David Nyhan, "Enlightenment for the Electorally Challenged," BG, November 6, 1994; Jeff Jacoby, "Face It: Rent Control Is Dead," BG, November 29, 1994; Bella English, "Rent Harpies Out of Control," BG, December 7, 1994. The columnist who opposed Question 9 was Robert Jordan, "Undecided? Just Read On," BG, November 5, 1994.
46. Chris Black, "Elderly Fear Displacement If Rent-Control Ban Passes," BG, August 6, 1994.
47. "Home Rule Invasion," BG, July 17, 1994; "No on Question 9," BG, October 29, 1994.
48. They typically asked, why should voters in the other 348 cities and towns in Massachusetts decided whether Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge can enact rent regulation? A number of Democratic legislators who acknowledged their ambivalence or even opposition to the rent control policy nevertheless supported the right of localities to adopt rent regulations on the principal of home rule. (See Don Aucoin, "Rent Control Pits Home Rule vs. Referendum," BG, November 22, 1994; Michael Kenney, "Coming: A Conflict of Absolutes," BG, November 27, 1994). The real estate industry's chief political operative believes that the tenants' emphasis on home rule was a "tactical error." The industry's polls showed that "this [home rule focus] didn't resonate with the voters." Moreover, they said, the tenants made a "fatal mistake" in focusing almost all their organizing on Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline, assuming that three-quarters or more of the voters would vote against Question 9; in fact, the margin of victory in these three cities was considerably smaller. (Interview with Ed Shanahan, April 28, 1997).
49. Howard Manly, "Rent Control Finally on Ballot," BG, July 31, 1994.
50. Real estate forces paid Boston University economist Jeffrey Miron $50,000 for a study, "The Economics of Rent Control," Prepared for the Massachusetts Homeowners Coalition, October 4, 1994. They also paid housing researcher Rolf Goetze $5,000 to produce a report, released in August, called "Rent Control: Affordable Housing for the Privileged, Not the Poor," which examined rent control in Cambridge. The tenants' force had no money to sponsor a study. They relied on the rent control agencies in the three cities, who could only guesstimate the demographic composition of regulated units. The Cambridge Rent Control Board hired Abt Associates to review Goetze's study; Abt criticized its methods, but by the time its review appeared, the MHC had put Goetze's findings to good use.
51. Matthew Brelis, "Landlords, Tenants Clash on Rent Control," BG, October 12, 1994.
52. Most of the information in this paragraph draws on a report prepared by the Commonwealth Coalition's Money and Politics Project, Laws for Sale: A Study of Money in the 1994 Ballot Questions, n.d.
53. Chris Reidy, "Poll Shows Close Battles Over Three Ballot Questions," BG, November 1, 1994.
54. In fact, the total vote was 1,034,594 (46.3%) "yes," 980,723 (43.9%) "no" and 216,869 (9.7%) blank. Among those who cast ballots "yes" or "no," however, Question 9 received 51.3% of the vote.
55. During the legislative phase of the rent control fight, another battle was shaping up in the courts over the legality of Question 9 and other ballot measures. When voters went to the polls on November 8, there were no summaries of each ballot measures describing what a "yes" or "no" vote meant. After the election, tenant advocates (as well as groups engaged in other ballot measures) sought to nullify the election in court on the grounds that it was unconstitutional because voters were not adequately informed. A Suffolk Superior Court judge and a state Appeals Court judge even issued temporary restraining orders against implementation of Question 9, but ultimately a higher court ruled that the measures were valid. See John Ellement and Chris Reidy, "Judge Orders a Halt to State's Enactment of 5 Ballot Measures," BG, November 30, 1994; John Ellement, "End of Rent Control Blocked; Judge OK's Early Sunday Shopping," BG, December 3, 1994; John Ellement and Don Aucoin, "Ballot Votes Validated; Rent Control Unresolved as SJR Rules, Beacon Hill Eyes Compromise for Tenants," BG, December 28, 1994; "Ballot Questions Upheld," BG, January 1, 1995; Paul Langer, "SJC Reaffirms Validity of Ballot Questions," BG, March 10, 1995.
56. Adrian Walker and Peter Howe, "Landlords Rail Against Moves to Undo Rent Control Rejection," BG, November 11, 1994; Adrian Walker, "3 Communities Attempt to Restore Rent Control," BG, November 13, 1994; Adrian Walker, "Landlords, Tenants Pack Hearing at City Hall to Debate Rent Control," BG, November 18, 1994; Zachary Dowdy, "Rent-Control Compromise Gets Cambridge OK," BG, November 21, 1994.
57. Doris Sue Wong and John Ellement, "Bill Extending Rent Control Under Attack," BG, December 29, 1994.
58. Adrian Walker and Peter Howe, "Landlords Rail Against Moves to Undo Rent-Control Rejection," BG, November 11, 1994. Menino's role in the entire rent control debate reflects interesting political calculations. As a Boston City Council member from the predominantly white middle-class district of Hyde Park, Menino had not been a supporter of rent control and on several occasions had cast the deciding vote to weaken tenant protection laws. When Mayor Ray Flynn, a strong support of tenants' rights, left office in the middle of his third term to become U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Menino, the Council president, became acting Mayor and then was elected on his own. Initially cautious about defending the city's already weakened rent control system, Menino was pushed by tenant advocates to play a visible role in the campaign against Question 9 and in the subsequent legislative battle to preserve some local tenant protections. His situation parallels that of New York City's Mayor Rudy Guiliani, a Republican who has been cornered in supporting the city's rent control law against assaults by his party leadership in Albany.
59. Adrian Walker, "Menino to Back Limited Rent Control," BG, November 26, 1994; Scot Lehigh, "Menino's Pitch Lacks Posturing; Low-Key Style of Rent Control Issue is Far From Flynn-Like," BG, November 30, 1994.
60. Adrian Walker, "Elderly Fear Rent Outcome, Mayor Says," BG, November 29, 1994.
61. "Home Rule on Rents," BG, November 14, 1994; "A Lineup for the Lame Ducks," BG, November 28, 1994.
62. Doris Sue Wong, "Countering State's Voters, House OK's Rent Control Plans," BG, November 30, 1994; Doris Sue Wong, "Weld Repeats Vow to Veto Rent Control," BG, December 1, 1994; Doris Sue Wong, "Senate Deals 3 Cards on Rent Control," BG, December 7, 1994; Doris Sue Wong, "Weld Vows He'll Veto Cambridge Rent Plan; 5-Year Phaseout a 'Deal Breaker,'" BG, December 9, 1994.
63. Matt Carroll, "A Day on the Rent Control Roller-Coaster," BG, December 28, 1994; Doris Sue Wong and John Ellement, "Bill Extending Rent Control Under Attack," BG, December 29, 1994; John Ellement and Doris Sue wong, "House, Senate Vote to Keep Rent Control Protection for Some Extended; Veto Seen," BG, December 30, 1994.
64. Doris Sue Wong, "Rent Control Compromise is Approved," BG, January 4, 1995.
65. Matt Carroll, "Weld Poised to Shoot Down Rent Control," BG, December 31, 1994.
66. Not surprisingly, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board's Rental Housing Association gave Weld its "Excellence in Public Service Award" for his role in eliminating rent control. See Richard Kindleberger and Tina Cassidy, "Lots and Blocks," BG, December 3, 1995.
67. Doris Sue Wong, "Rent Control Compromise is Approved," BG, January 4, 1995.
68. The Globe consistently misinterpreted the law, claiming that it provided temporary protections for elderly and low-income tenants, when in fact only a narrow group of elderly and low-income tenants (in Boston, those who had lived in their units since 1976 and were still under the city's old rent control law) were covered. See, for example, Geeta Anand, "City Readies Rent Control Survey," BG, October 21, 1995.
69. See, for example, Pamela Ferdinand, "Rent Vote Divides Landlords, Tenants," BG, November 10, 1994; Pamela Ferdinand, "Tenants Under Rent Control Receiving Word of Increases," BG, December 20, 1994; .
70. Doris Sue Wong, "Rent Control Compromise is Approved," BG, January 4, 1995; Don Aucoin, "For Tenants, Extension Extends Tension," BG, January 5, 1995.
71. Michael Kenney, "The Big Winner on the Rent Control Issue is Gov. Weld," BG, January 8, 1995.
72. Heskin, Tenants and the American Dream, p. 39.
73. Heskin, p. 40.
74. Heskin, p. 41.
75. Interview with Steve Carlson, lobbyist for the California Housing Council, May 2, 1997. See also Steve Carlson, "Twenty Years Later: A History of Rent Control in California," Sacramento: California Housing Council, Winter 1995-96.
76. Information in this paragraph draws on Heskin and on articles from Shelterforce magazine.
77. Cited in Heskin from the Los Angeles Times, March 30, 1978.
78. In Santa Monica, landlords raised $250,000 and outspent tenant groups by 20 to 1; in Santa Barbara, landlords spent $160,000 to the pro-rent control advocates' $21,000. See Heskin (p. 47-48) and Dreier, "The Politics of Rent Control," Working Papers, Vol. 6, No. 6, March/April l979, pp. 55-63.
79. Steve Carlson, "Twenty Years Later: A History of Rent Control in California," Sacramento: California Housing Council, Winter 1995-96.
80. Heskin, p. 47.
81. Cited in Heskin, p. 48.
82. Heskin, 50.
83. These jurisdictions included Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Cotati, East Palo Alto, Hayward, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Oakland, Palm Springs, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Monica, Thousands Oaks, and West Hollywood. Source: "Rent Control at the Local Level: An Analysis and Update," California Association of Realtors, March 1988.
84. "Rent Control at the Local Level: An Analysis and Update," California Association of Realtors, March 1988.
85. Rents were initially frozen at their May 1978 levels.
86. Michael P. Murray, C. Peter Rydell, C. Lance Barnett, Carol Hillestad, and Kevin Neels, "Analyzing Rent Control: The Case of Los Angeles," Economic Inquiry, Vol. 29, October 1991.
87. Voters in Palo Alto defeated a local rent control measure in the l970's. See Holly Heyser, "P.A. To Hear Gripes About High Rents," SJMN, Jan. 11, 1996.
88. "History of East Palo Alto: Incorporation and Rent Control," n.d.; Theresa C. Viloria, "East P.A. To Study Tight Housing," SJMN, Jan. 23, 1995.
89. "History of East Palo Alto: Incorporation and Rent Control," n.d.
90."Court Upholds Berkeley Rent Hikes," SB, Aug. 16, 1994.
91. Steve Barton, "Rent Control in the City of Berkeley, 1978 to 1993: An Evaluation," City of Berkeley Community Development Department, January 1994.
92. Stephen Barton, "Rent Control in the City of Berkeley," January 1994; Edwin Garcia and E. Mark Moreno, "Schism Over Rent Control, State Bill Praised by Area Landlords," SJMN, July 26, 1995.
93. This account of Santa Monica draws primarily on Heskin; Capek and Gilderbloom; Dreier 1979; and interviews.
94. Carla Hall and John Mitchell, "Santa Monica Braces for End of Rent Control," LAT, July 26, 1995.
95. Heskin, p. 58.
96. These included increased police foot patrols and improved municipal services; increased fees on Shell Oil's underground pipeline; and pro-union policies, such as requiring a union label on all city stationery and negotiating a favorable contract with municipal unions. The SMRR-affiliated City Council named citizen task forces on crime, women's issues and other problems. It appointed progressive activists to such critical positions as city attorney, city manager, rent control administrator, and other policy-making positions. SMRR also dramatically changed the city's development priorities, putting an emphasis on "human scale" development and on protecting the city's economic diversity by promoting affordable housing. Initially, Santa Monica required a developer to build a park, day care center and affordable housing units n order to obtain a permit to build a highly profitable hotel complex near the waterfront. This was later formalized into a linkage policy to collect a fee from real estate development, targeted to art, affordable housing and other projects. SMRR created a nonprofit community development corporation to undertake affordable housing. It passed an inclusionary housing policy, requiring housing developers to incorporate low-income housing. Under the SMRR administration, Santa Monica turned a seedy commercial area into a lively Third Street Promenade that became a cultural and retail mecca, including movie theaters, bookstores, restaurants, and street life. Santa Monica's planners change city laws to make it more accessible to people with physical handicaps. The SMRR governing coalition created numerous programs to feed and house the homeless, who were attracted to the city's parks and beaches.
97. Los Gatos copied San Jose's program in 1980, calling it the Rent Mediation Program. In San Jose, rents can be raised 8% a year. In Los Gatos, 5% plus costs of maintenance. San Jose's law covers all triplexes and larger buildings built before the ordinance took effect in 1979. It exempts new construction. See Larry Sokoloff, "Rent Control Laws are a Controversial Issue, But Not in South Bay," SJMN, August 19, 1995.
98. Interview with Steve Carlson, lobbyist for CHC, May 2, 1997.
99. This paragraph draws on a memo analyzing the Proposition 10 campaign by Gerson Bakar, a prominent Bay Area developer and president of the California Housing Council, entitled, "The Rental Housing Supply and Tenant Problems," dated June 12, 1980. It also draws on Heskin, Tenants and the American Dream.
100. According to Bakar's memo:
"All of our polls, prior to and throughout the campaign, indicated that a majority of the voters felt that the standards of Prop 10 were fair until they were told Prop 10 was an industry sponsored proposal. Finding out that the industry supported the proposal caused shifts of up to 20% in voter opinion. The near unanimous opposition by the press to Prop 10 reinforced this hostility to the industry. We didn't think we were loved, but we didn't know we were hated with such passion."
101. Steve Carlson, "Twenty Years Later: A History of Rent Control in California," Sacramento: California Housing Council, Winter 1995-96.
102. "Rent Control at the Local Level: An Analysis and Update," California Association of Realtors, March 1988.
103. "Rent Control At the Local Level: An Analysis and Update," California Association of Realtors, March 1988.
104. The CHC hired political consultant Clint Riley to run the ballot campaign and spent over $1 million on it. According to Steve Carlson, the CHC then kept Riley on its payroll and "loaned" him to Frank Jordan's mayoral race. Interview with Steve Carlson, May 2, 1997.
105. Interview with Steve Carlson, May 2, 1997. San Franciscans voted to strengthen rent control (to include single-family homes, among other things) in the November 8, 1994 elections by a vote of 50.9% to 49.1%. See "San Francisco Election Results," SJMN, Nov. 12, 1994.
106. "Rent Control at the Local Level: An Analysis and Update," California Association of Realtors, March 1988.
107. Roberti was elected to the Assembly in 1966, representing central Los Angeles. He moved up to the Senate in 1971. He was elected Senate president pro tempore in 1980.
108. At various times, the real estate industry tried other approaches. In 1987, the CHC and other industry groups drafted legislation that would deny state housing assistance to any city with rent control or growth controls, which were deemed to have an adverse impact on the production or availability of low-income housing. State Senator John Seymour filed this legislation several times, but it met the same fate as the anti-rent control laws, also thanks to Roberti's influence. This strategy is discussed in "Rent Control at the Local Level: An Analysis and Update," California Association of Realtors, March 1988.
109. Interview with Steve Carlson, May 2, 1997.
110. Interview with Steve Carlson, May 2, 1997.
111. Bradley Inman, "Landlords Win in Court, Politics," SB, Sept. 10, 1995.
112. Nancy Hill-Holtzman, "Drive Seeks to Aid Rent Control Ally," LA Times, March 24, 1994.
113. John Schwada, "Recall Battles Intensifies in 11th Hour," LA Times, April 10, 1994.
114. "Rent Control, Cont'd," SJMN, Sept. 17, 1994.
115. Nancy Hill-Holtzman, "Rent Control Advocates Suffer Another Setback," LAT, Nov. 10, 1994; William Fulton, "Gingrich's Unintended Revolution -- All Power to Sacramento," LAT, July 30, 1995.
116. Carl Ingram, "Senate Panel Defeats Bill to Weaken Rent Controls," LA Times, June 22, 1994.
117. Interview with Steve Carlson, May 2, 1997.
118. The Northridge earthquake shook Southern California in January 1994. Its aftershocks were not only physical, but political as well. It triggered controversy over rent control's impact on earthquake repairs in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Los Angeles. This controversy contributed to the anti-rent control sentiment. Most of the local press coverage focused on Santa Monica's reluctance to allow landlords to raise rents to cover earthquake repairs. This controversy undermined some support for rent control. In May 1994 the Santa Monica rent board passed a new law allowing pass throughs on earthquake-related capital repairs. (See "Housing: Northridge Earthquake, New Santa Monica Rent Control Regulation," LA Times, May 19, 1994). Most landlords didn't have earthquake insurance. At one apartment complex (the 86-unit Charmont), the rent control board approved a $200/month rent increase. (See Jennifer Bowles, "City on the Mend; Northridge Quake Aftermath Still Rocking Santa Monica," SJMN, Jan. 17, 1995). The earthquake destroyed many apartments and cut into SMRR's political base. This hurt in the November 1994 local elections, when a leading tenant advocate, Tony Vazquez, was defeated. (See Nancy Hill-Holtzman, "Rent control Advocates Suffer Another Setback," LA Times, Nov. 10, 1994). The Los Angeles City Council debated abolishing rent control in mid-1994 and the issue of rent control's impact on earthquake repair became a major issue.(See Ted Rohrlich, "Officials Weight Abolishment of LA Rent Control," LA Times, June 16, 1994; and Ted Rohrlich, "No Plan to Drop Rent Control, Top Official Says," LA Times, June 17, 1994). Landlords complained that the process for getting rent increases was already cumbersome and was exacerbated by the need to increase rents in order to fix earthquake damage. Tenants had a different view. The LA City Council considered a law limiting rent increases for capital repairs for earthquake because tenants complained of gouging. (See Hugo Martin, "Chick Seeks to Cap Rent Hikes for Quake Repair," LAT, Nov. 8, 1995).
119. In 1996, Republicans had a majority of the Assembly seats, but lost their majority the following year.
120. During this entire period, Speaker Willie Brown was not supportive of rent control. Brown told the Sacramento Bee that he had "abandoned his idea of protecting rent control." (See John Jacobs, "Playing All Sides," SB, Jan. 11, 1994). Brown was also term limited out of office, leaving office in March 1995. During this time, he began his (eventually successful) campaign for mayor of San Francisco. Tenant activists hoped that his mayoral campaign would make him more sympathetic to protecting rent control than during his last term as Speaker. This turned out not to be the case and appeared to have no negative political consequences for his mayoral efforts. See also Nancy Hill-Holzman, "State Legislation Threatens Rent Control," LAT, May 22, 1995.
121. "Anti-Rent Control Measure on Wilson's Desk," SJMN, July 25, 1995.
122. When Costa was elected to the Senate, Assemblyman Phil Hawkins (R-Artesia) became sponsor of the Assembly bill.
123. Petras' vote is difficult to explain. One tenant lobbyist suggested that for many years Petras had supported rent control but was critical of how the Berkeley rent board administered the law, particularly its inflexible regulations toward small landlords. Berkeley tenant activists took Petras' pro-rent control vote for granted, failed to lobby him adequately before the 1995 vote, and were allegedly rude to him during meetings to discuss the Costa/Hawkins bill. Also, since Petras was in his last term in office due to term limits, his vote against rent control had no political repercussions.
124. Carl Ingram, "Senate Passes Bill to Curb Rent Control in 5 Cities," LA Times, May 24, 1995.
125. Nancy Hill-Holtzman, "Senate Panel Passes Bill to Weaken Rent Control Law," LA Times, April 6, 1995; Dan Walters, "A New Chapter in an Old Saga," SB, May 24, 1995.
126. "Landlords Win Round in Rent Control Fight," LA Times, June 22, 1995.
127. Hollye Jordan, "Measure Eases 'Extreme' Rent control Advancing," SJMN, July 13, 1995.
128. Max Vanzi, "Legislature Deals Blow to Rent Control" LAT, July 25, 1995.
129. Mary Moore, "Strict Rent Control to End in Cities on Jan. 1," LAT, Dec. 27, 1995.
130. Max Vanzi, "Wilson Signs Bill Limiting Rent Controls," LAT, Aug. 5, 1995.
131. Debora Vrana, "Wheels Turning at Mobile Home Parks in O.C." LA Times, April 3, 1994.
132. Mark Leibowvich, "Living in a Double-Wide Dream," SJMN, Dec. 1, 1996.There are 11,000 mobile homes in San Jose alone.
133. For example, Fremont adopted mobile home rent control in 1987, and the issue was still hotly contested eight years later. (See Dennis Akizuki, "Tentative Mobile Home Pact Reached," SJMN, March 4, 1995). In June 1994, Folson residents voted on a initiative to adopt mobile home rent control. (See Ross Farrow, "Rent Control, Political Reform on Ballot," SB, Feb. 27, 1994). Mobile residents in Sunnyvale recently pushed the city council for rent control. (See Leland Joachim, "Sunnyvale's Action on Mobile Homes Called Weak," SJMN, May 25, 1994).
134. Ed Pope, "Mobile Home Rent Control Battle; State Measure is Target of Grass-roots Effort," SJMN, March 23, 1996.
135. Dan Walters, "Rent War Over? Not Quite Yet," SB, Oct. 30, 1995.
136. Sharon Moeser, "Lancaster Presses Forward with Mobile Home Park Purchases," LA Times, Jan. 1, 1994.
137. Stuart Silverstein, "The Maverick at Center of Mobile Home Rent Battle," LAT, Feb. 16, 1996.
138. Jeff McDonald, "Rent Feud on Mobile Homes Is Reignited," LAT, April 18, 1994; Jeff McDonald, "Petition Seeks Vote Over Rent Controls," LAT, June 29, 1994; Jeff McDonald, "State R.C. Measure on Agenda," LAT, June 19, 1995; Jeff McDonald, "City Fights Mobile Home Rent Measure," LAT, June 20, 1995; Nicholas Riccardi, "Mobile Home Owners Battle Rent Initiative," LAT, July 10, 1995. In El Dorado County, see Catherine Bridge, "Supervisors Oppose Mobile Home Measure," SB, April 28, 1994.
139. Christopher Schmitt, "Legislators Still Finding Ways to Help Donors Despite 'Revolution,'" SJMN, May 19, 1995.
140. Stuart Silverstein, "The Maverick at Center of Mobile Home Rent Battle," LAT, Feb. 16, 1996
141. "Ballot propositions at a glance," LATimes, Nov. 20, 1995.
142. Carl Ingram, "Voters to Decide Fate of Rent Control in Mobile Home Parks," LAT, March 12, 1996.
143."Complaint Targets Prop. 199 Opponents," LAT, March 21, 1996.
144. Ed Pope, "Mobile Home Rent Control Battle; State Measure is Target of Grass-roots Effort," SJMN, March 23, 1996.
145. "Rent Control for Mobile Homes," SB, Feb. 24, 1996; "Vote No: The Casualties Will Be People of Limited Income," SJMN, Feb. 14, 1996; "No on Mobile Home Rent Measure," LAT, March 19, 1996.
146. Dan Morain, "The Propositions," LAT, March 24, 1996.
147. "Proposition 199," SJMN, March 24, 1996.
148. See, for example, Lesley Wright, "Council Urges Defeat of Mobile Home Issue," LAT, March 24, 1996.
149. "Final California Election Returns/Propositions," LAT, March 28, 1996. It even lost in Orange County 53% to 47%.
150. Ed Pope, "Mobile Home Park Owners Vow Local Rent Control Fights," SJMN, March 28, 1996.
151. Tracy Wilson, "Mobile Home Rent Controls Win City OK," LAT, Jan 23, 1996.
152. Pillsbury, April 17, 1997. Data from Secretary of State's office.
153. Deep Pockets: 1991-92 Top Ten Contributors to California Legislative Campaigns, Sacramento: California Common Cause, July 1993.
154. Between April 1991 and October 1993, Costa received at least $70,386 from a variety of industry PACs, including the California Housing Council, the Apartment Association of Greater LA, the California Apartment Association, the California Real Estate PAC, and the Western Mobilehome Association. In l986, and l987 and l989 he received honoraria totaling at least $3,000 from the California Housing Council. Source: Hopcraft Communications, March 23, 1994.
155. Interview with David Booher, May 5, 1997.
156. Interview with David Booher, May 5, 1997.
157. Interview with Steve Carlson, May 2, 1997.
158. Interview with Steve Carlson, May 2, 1997.
159. Interview with Roger Herzog, Cambridge Community Development Department, May 5, 1997.
160. For example, the Globe reported in late January 1995 that "some 125 banner-carrying demonstrators marched through Cambridge yesterday in an effort to organize tenants against rent increases and evictions," but these efforts have little effect. See Richard Saltus, "Tenants Protest Phaseout of Rent Control," BG, January 29, 1995. See also, Pamela Ferdinand, "Tenants Seek Strength in Numbers," BG, March 2, 1995; Alan Lupo, "Their Future Uncontrolled Rental Options; Grim News for Elderly," BG, August 6, 1995.
161. Interview with Steve Carlson.
162. Interview with David Booher.
163. Interview with Ed Shanahan.
164. Interview with Ed Shanahan.
165. This paper does not discuss the role of litigation and the courts. These obviously played a role in both states in shaping the rent control debate. In the mid-1980s, CHC spearheaded several unsuccessful legal initiatives -- including Pennel v. City of San Jose and Fisher v. City of Berkeley -- to attack rent control. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected their arguments, but the effort required these cities and tenant groups to spend time and resources defending rent control. More recently, in March 1994, apartment owners filed suit against the Santa Monica rent control board. It is one of a series of lawsuits bankrolled by more than $1 million in contributions from landlords. 15 cities have some form of rent regulation on apartments; about 100 cities have regulations on mobile homes. Apt. owners teamed up with the Pacific Legal Foundation. The owners funded a study of rent control cities, "trying to show that people who are most needy aren't benefited by rent regulations." "In the past two decades, disgruntled property owners have failed to convince the courts, the Legislature, local officials or voters to turn back existing rent control rules." In CA, the push for rent control began in late 1970s have period of soaring rents, fueled by Prop 13. All the cities that have controls enacted them within 5 years after Prop 13. CA appellate court rules against rent control in the case of Santa Monica LTD vs. Superior Court of LA. While it didn't rule that rent control is unconstitutional, it sided with landlords about fair compensation and property rights. See Bradley Inman, "Court Overturns Rent Control Rule," SB, May 19, 1996. Also, Steve Carlson, "Twenty Years Later: A History of Rent Control in California," Sacramento: California Housing Council, Winter 1995-96.
166. Interview with Michael Herald, April 14, 1997.
167. Interview with Steve Carlson, May 2, 1997.
168. See, for example, J. Craig Jenkins and C.M. Eckert, "Channeling Black Insurgency: Elite Patronage and Professional Social Movement Organizations in the Development of the Black Movement," American Sociological Review, Vol. 51, 1986.
The Ford Foundation was the first large philanthropy to focus its attention and resources on poverty and slum conditions in the Northern ghettoes. Its first initiative was the Gray Areas Project, which devoted $12 million a year in the early l960s to improve job training and education in several Northern black slums. The largest Gray Areas Project grant went to Mobilization for Youth (MFY), an anti-poverty organization on the Lower East Side of New York City. MFY not only offered training and educational services, it also hired organizers to mobilize low-income residents to take political action -- for example, to organize rent strikes against slum landlords. Critics charged that the Ford Foundation was financing radicalism
The support of the Ford Foundation gave MFY enough credibility to apply for, and receive, funds from the federal government, which was then, under President Kennedy, launching a cautious anti-poverty program, initially with the mandate to reduce juvenile delinquency in the slums. Much of Kennedy's (and, more generously funded, President Johnson's) war on poverty was based on the Ford-funded MFY model of "community action." But, as Lemann notes, MFY faced a dilemma: "Confrontational tactics could imperil its existence, because it was dependent on the largesse of the power structure it intended to confront" (Nicholas Lemann, The Promised Land, New York: Alfred Knopf, 1991: 123). The War on Poverty had adopted the Gray Areas Project view that poverty was a symptom of social and physical environments, not the personal failings of the poor themselves. Based on this view, the solution was to improve the physical environment by improving the slums (especially slum housing) and by mobilizing the poor to gain political power and to control ghetto institutions, such as schools, businesses, and social agencies. The controversy around the Gray Areas Project made the Ford Foundation somewhat cautious. Although it has continued to support a variety of social movement organizations involved in voter registration, civil rights, and other concerns, its primary urban focus for the past 30 years has been attacking the physical deterioration of America's ghettoes by supporting non-profit, community-based development organizations.
169. See Peter Dreier, "Philanthropy and the Housing Crisis: The Dilemmas of Private Charity and Public Policy," Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 8, No. 1, 1997.
170. Interview with Matthew Henzy, Massachusetts Tenants Organization, May 6, 1997.
171. Allan Heskin, Tenants and the American Dream.
172. In Massachusetts a legal battle ensued over whether HUD-subsidized projects were subject to local rent regulations after they were no longer subsidized. MTO had organized a successful campaign in the l980s to change the Boston rent regulations to incorporate "expiring use" buildings upon expiration or termination of federal subsidies. Despite this, tenants in HUD-subsidized developments were not mobilized around Question 9.
173. A major union exception were the building trades unions, which traditionally have sided with developers and contractors.
174. Kevin Phillips, The Politics of Rich and Poor, New York: Random House, 1990; Peter Dreier, "Capitalists vs. the Media: An Analysis of an Ideological Mobilization Among Business Leaders" Media, Culture & Society, April 1982; Herbert Gans, "Deconstructing the Underclass," Journal of the American Planning Association, Summer 1990.
175. Interview with Ed Shanahan.
176. Interview with Michael Herald.
177. For a discussion of this campaign, see Richard Appelbaum, Michael Dolny, Peter Dreier, and John Gilderbloom, "Scapegoating Rent Control: Masking the Causes of Homelessness," Journal of the America Planning Association, Vol. 57, No. 2, Spring 1991
178. Interview with Steve Carlson.
179. Interview with Ed Shanahan.
180. "Senate Approves Restrictions on Rent Control," SJMN, May 24, 1995.
181. "Signing of Law That Limits East P.A. Rent Control Angers Tenant Advocates," SJMN, August 6, 1995.
182. "Home Rule Invasion," BG, July 17, 1994.
183. Howard Manly, "Rent Control Finally on Ballot," BG, July 31, 1994.
184. Hallye Jordan, "Measure Eases 'Extreme' Rent control Advancing," SJMN, July 13, 1995; Bradley Inman, "Landlords Wage Rent Control War," SB, March 20, 1994.
185. According to the 1990 census, there were 4.6 million rental units of the 10.4 million occupied units in California, and 915,617 rental units of the 2.25 million occupied units in Massachusetts.
186. Even with vacancy recontrol, landlords set rents to market levels for incoming tenants when tenants vacate.
187. One Boston tenant activist called this a "stay of execution."
188. Richard Chacon, "Menino Administration Girds for End of Rent-Control Law," BG, December 9, 1995.
189. See, for example, Geeta Anand, "738 Needy Tenants Face Housing Loss; Landlords Join with City to Find Safety Net as Rent Control Ends," BG, September 24, 1996.
190. Interview with Ed Shanahan, April 28, 1997. In fact, according to the RHA's Ed Shanahan, most landlords raised rents to market levels during the first phase of deregulation, which affected about three-quarters of regulated units. He gave as an illustration a landlord raising rent from $300 to $1,200 a month. These increases provided landlords with enough increased cash flow that they were able to "ride out the storm" during the second and third phases by limiting rent increases and postponing evictions for some elderly and low-income tenants, who represented only one unit (or at most a handful of units) in their buildings. Worried about negative publicity about "greedy" landlords pushing out the poor and elderly, "we put out a please to owners to consider individual circumstances...The increased cash flow made it possible to discount some rents." According to Shanahan, "gave us some breathing room."
Barbara Burnham, director of the Fenway CDC in one of Boston's downtown neighborhoods, noted that it was only political pressure and fear of media "horror stories" that pushed the RHA to act. Even so, she said, only a few landlords agreed to negotiate with the FCDC to provide some relief for elderly renters facing rent increases and eviction. The Fenway CDC alone identified over 300 elderly renters in one neighborhood facing imminent eviction. Interview with Burnham, April 28, 1997 and Geeta Anand, "Fenway Seniors Get SOS," BG, October 5, 1996.
191. Jeff Jacoby, "Rent Control Is Dead -- Leave It That Way," BG, April 30, 1996.
192. Tina Cassidy, "Rising Rental Rates on Apartment Seen Widening the Affordability Gap," BG, August 4, 1996.
193. Adrian Walker, "Demise of Rent Control Has Tenants Apprehensive," BG, January 9, 1995.
194. Pamela Ferdinand, "Tenants Seek Strength in Numbers," BG, March 2, 1995.
195. Mary Sit, "Developers Find New Incentives," BG, March 5, 1995.
196. Tina Cassidy, "For Those Paying Higher Rent, Buying Becomes An Option," BG, March 5, 1995.
197. Alan Lupo, "Their Future Uncontrolled Rental Options; Grim News for Elderly," BG, August 6, 1995
198. Geeta Anand, "Losing Control; Expiring Rent Limits Leave Poor and Elderly Wondering Where To Go," BG, October 12, 1995
199. Geeta Anand, "738 Needy Tenants Face Housing Loss; Landlords Join with City to Find Safety Net as Rent Control Ends," BG, September 24, 1996.
200. Eileen McNamara, "Priced Out After 133 Years," BG, August 10, 1996. See also, "Richard Chacon, "Expiration of Rent Control Looms Over Poor and Their Advocates," BG, December 23, 1996.
201. Michael Grunwald, "Menino Promises a Blitz of Advice to All Rent-Controlled Households," BG, January 6, 1995.
202. The GBREB claimed that the city had no authority to certify eligibility. See Mary Sit, "Group Sues City, Says It's Skirting Rent-Control Law," BG, March 29, 1995. Brookline had a similar situation, in which many tenants eligible for extended protections failed to apply for certification. See "Rent Control Update," BG, April 23, 1995.
203. See Geeta Anand, "City Readies Rent Control Survey," BG, October 21, 1995. The city targeted its efforts toward renters in the 22,000 rent controlled units on the assumption that they housed mostly elderly tenants. About a year later, a city survey estimated the number of low-income and elderly tenants about to lose rent control protections at 738. See Geeta Anand, "Menino is Urged to Finance Help for Needy Tenants," BG, September 28, 1996. The city prioritized 250 Section 8 certificates for rent-controlled tenants facing eviction; it also allocated $2 million from city revenues for relocation assistance.The city did some outreach, especially to the elderly tenants, but these efforts were hit-and-miss. In the Fenway neighborhood, the local CDC did a door-to-door canvass to identify elderly tenants who would be facing rent increases and possible eviction, identified 300 of them, and sought to negotiate with landlords to give these tenants additional time, to limit rent increases, or to move them to smaller apartments. Fear of media stories and political pressure (including a renewed pressure for rent control) led some landlords to make "deals" with the CDC. According to several informants, there was increased harassment of tenants by landlords eager to remove tenants with rent control protections.
204. Geeta Anand, "City Readies Rent Control Survey," BG, October 21, 1995; Alan Lupo, "With Rent Control Off, Search On; Communities Seeking Spots for Folks Affected," BG, January 21, 1996. According to Ed Shanahan of the Rental Housing Association, eventually 1,065 renters in Boston, 1,545 in Cambridge, and 482 in Brookline qualified for extended protections. The Boston city government claimed that 6,000 to 8,000 tenants were eligible but failed to come forward to be certified.
205. For example, the Fenway CDC did a survey of tenants in rent controlled apartments in its neighborhood and found that 62% were poor, elderly, or disabled; 58% were either elderly or disabled. The CDC did a door-to-door canvass of apartment dwellers and found more than 300 elderly persons in the Fenway neighborhood who were eligible for city assistance. They found the Rent Equity Board's list "almost useless," suggesting that the number of people eligible for assistance was far greater than those found in the REB survey and those who took the initiative to seek help. Interview with Barbara Burnham, April 28, 1997; Covenant of Care report, Fenway CDC, n.d.; "The Covenant of Care and the Save Our Seniors (SOS) Collaborative, report to the Fenway CDC, February 1997.
206. Irving Murphy, "Cambridge Groups Launch Affordable Housing Effort," BG, September 2, 1995; Geeta Anand, "Menino Is Urged to Finance Help for Needy Tenants," BG, September 28, 1996. A few politicians and tenant activists proposed filing state legislation to mitigate the impact of decontrol, but these proposals had no political momentum. The state's housing department and housing finance agency offered no additional resources. It was clear that the three cities were on their own in addressing the consequences.
207. Interview with Barbara Burnham, director, Fenway CDC, April 28, 1997; Geeta Ananrd, "Menino Seeks Rent Protections; Proposed State Law to Help Poor Stave Off Hikes," BG, November 10, 1995; Geeta Anand, "Menino Is Urged to Finance Help for Needy Tenants," BG, September 28, 1996.
208. "Programs to Assist Those Losing Rent Control Protections," draft, February 1997. This three-page memo was provided by the Mayor's office to explain the city's response to deregulation.
209. See Peter Dreier and Bruce Ehrlich, "Downtown Development and Urban Reform: The Politics of Boston's Linkage Policy," Urban Affairs Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 3, March 1991.
210. Richard Chacon, Menino's New "Safety Net' For Tenants Has $2M Rent Subsidy," BG, October 18, 1996.
211. Industry Survey, Boston: Rental Housing Association, Winter 1997. The RHA survey does not identify apartments by size. See also, Tina Cassidy, "Boston Area Multi-Family Market heats Up; Rental Shortage is Fueling Sales," BG, June 1, 1996.
212. Industry Survey, Boston: Rental Housing Association, Winter 1997.
213. Michael Grunwald, "Further Cuts Feared in Housing for the Poor; Menino Says City Needs Game Plan," BG, January 5, 1995; Michael Grunwald, "Menino Promises a Blitz of Advice to All Rent-Controlled Households," BG, January 6, 1995.
214. This paragraph draws on interviews with Vivian Rothstein, director of the Ocean Park Community Center in Santa Monica; Peter Mezza, coordinator of the Section 8 program for the Santa Monica Housing Authority, and Mary Ann Yurkonis, director of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.
215. Louise Yarnall, "Laws Protect Renters from Unfair Practices," LAT, July 27, 1995; "Tenants Measure Rejected for Ballot," LAT, July 25, 1996.
216. Data supplied by Tracy Condor of the Santa Monica Rent Control Board.
217. Paul Silvern of Hamilton, Rabinovitz and Alschuler, Inc., "Results of the 1995 Santa Monica Apartment Tenants Survey," memo prepared for the City of Santa Monica Planning and Community Development Department, November 8, 1996.
218. Silvern, "Results of the 1995 Santa Monica Apartment Tenants Survey," Ibid.
219. Interviews with Connie Doty, former director, Boston Rent Equity Board; Roger Herzog, Housing Director, City of Cambridge.
220. See, for example, The State of the Nation's Housing 1990, Cambridge: Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, 1990.
221. The State of the Nation's Housing 1996, Cambridge: Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, 1996.
222. Peter Dreier, David Schwartz, and Ann Greiner,"What Every Business Can Do About Housing," Harvard Business Review, Vol. 66, No. 5, September/October l988.
223. Rebecca Stevens, Peter Dreier, and Jeff Brown, From a Military to a Housing Buildup: The Impact in Boston of a Six Percent Shift in the Federal Budget from the Military to Housing, Boston: Boston Redevelopment Authority. August 1989.
224. Karl E. Case and Leah Cook, "The Distributional Effects of Housing Price Booms: Winners and Losers in Boston, 1980-1988," New England Economic Review, May/June 1989; Karl E. Case, "The Real Estate Cycle and the Economy: Consequences of the Massachusetts Boom of 1984-87," New England Economic Review, September/October 1991; and Karl E. Case and Robert J. Shiller, "A Decade of Boom and Bust in the Prices of Single-Family Homes: Boston and Los Angeles, 1983 to 1993," New England Economic Review, March/April 1994.
225. The State of the Nation's Housing 1996, Cambridge: Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, 1996.
226. Rents in the Silicon Valley/San Jose area were skyrocketing during 1996, the hottest since l989. Average monthly rent in San Jose metro area is $1,441, the most expensive of 56 major metro areas. Renters have faced rent increases of 20 to 40% at one time. Owners not bound by San Jose's rent control law (which limits rents to 8%) are raising rents an average of 15%. Katherine Corcoran, Sandy Kleffman, Ed Popel, Connie Skipitares, and Maya Suryaramna, "Location, Location Frustration Finding Affordable Shelter in Silicon Valley's Surreal Estate Market..." SJMN, Nov. 10, 1996. Asking rents in San Francisco rose 25.7% in 1996, reaching an average of $1,389/month. (See BRE, Bay Area Apartment Market Overview, n.d.)
227. The State of the Nation's Housing 1996, Cambridge: Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University, 1996.
228. 1995 Study of Housing Costs, Los Angeles: E&Y Kenneth Leventhal Real State Group, 1995.
229. Tracey L. Kaufman, Out of Reach: Can America Pay the Rent, Washington, D.C: National Low-Income Housing Coalition, May 1996. This study used the rule-of-thumb of 30% of household income for rent as its index of affordability.
230. Industry Survey, Boston: Rental Housing Association, Winter 1996.
231. Industry Survey, Boston: Rental Housing Association, Winter 1997.
232.Mary Curtius, "SF Rents Climb Halfway to the Stars, if There's a Vacancy," LAT, May 27, 1996.
233. See Jennifer Wolch and Wei Li, "The Shifting Margins of Housing Status in Los Angeles," Los Angeles: Department of Geography, University of Southern California, August 1996; Hamilton, Rabinovitz and Alschuler, Inc., Rental Housing Study 1994: Technical Report on Issues and Policy Options, prepared for Los Angeles Housing Department, Rent Stabilization Division, December 1994.
234. Broderick Perkins, "Real Estate in Retrospect; Banner Housing Year -- Except, Perhaps, for Renters, Buyers," SJMN, Dec. 28, 1996.
235. Interview with David Booher, May 5, 1997.
236. Joanne Grant, "Milpitas to Study Rent Issues," SJMN, Aug. 8, 1996.
237. Ed Pope, "Renters Seeking Control Over Escalating Payments," SJMN, Nov. 11, 1996.
238. Allan David Heskin, Ned Levine and mark Garret, "Rent Control Without Vacancy DeControl: An Analysis of Four Cities," June 1995; Ned Levine, J. Eugene Grigsby III, and Allan Heskin, "Who Benefits from Rent Control? Effects on Tenants in Santa Monica, California," Journal of the American Planning Association, Spring 1990; Stephen Barton, "Rent Control in the City of Berkeley, 1978 to 1993: An Evaluation," Berkeley: City of Berkeley Community Development Department, January 25, 1994; "History of East Palo Alto: Incorporation and Rent Control," East Palo Alto: Planning and Community Development Department, March 1994; Paul Silvern of Hamilton, Rabinovitz and Alschuler, Inc., "Results of the 1995 Santa Monica Apartment Tenants Survey," prepared for the City of Santa Monica Planning and Community Development Department, November 8, 1996.
239. Paul Silvern, "Results of the 1995 Santa Monica Apartment Tenants Survey."
240. Paul Silvern and Robert H. Sims of Hamilton, Rabinovitz and Alschuler, Inc., "The Impacts of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act on The Rent-Controlled Apartment Stock in Santa Monica," memo prepared for the City of Santa Monica Planning and Community Development Department, November 8, 1996.
241. Edwin Garcia, "E. Palo Alto Primed For Rent Hikes Bill," SJMN, July 26, 1995.
242. See Over the Edge: Cuts and Changes in Housing, Income Support, and Homeless Assistance Programs in Massachusetts, Boston: John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts at Boston, January 1997.
243. Interview with Pat Canavan, April 28, 1997. Also see Susan Diesenhouse, "Decontrol's Aftermath in Massachusetts," New York Times, n.d. In contrast, Ed Shanahan of the Rental Housing Association claimed that more than 2,500 new conventionally-financed market-rate apartment units were in construction or in the pipeline, a fact he attributed to the end of rent control. Interview with Shanahan, April 28, 1997.
244. Except those in rent controlled units in California who remain in their apartments.
245. This section draws on a comprehensive review of the empirical research on rent control. Most of the studies on which this section draws are cited in Richard Appelbaum, Michael Dolny, Peter Dreier and John Gilderbloom, "Scapegoating Rent Control: Masking the Causes of Homelessness," Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 57, No. 2, Spring 1991. Other studies reviewed include: Richard Arnott, "Time for Revisionism on Rent Control?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 9, No. 1, Winter 1995; Edgar Olsen, "Is Rent Control Good Social Policy," Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 67, 1991; John Quigley, "Does Rent Control Cause Homelessness," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1990; Michael Murray, C. Peter Rydell, C. Lance Barnet, Carol Hillestad, and Kevin Neels, "Analyzing Rent Control: The Case of Los Angeles," Economic Inquiry, Vol. 29, October 1991; Ned Levine, J. Eugene Grigsby, and Allan Heskin, "Who Benefits From Rent Control? Effects on tenants in Santa Monica, California," Journal of the American Planning Association, Spring 1990; Anthony Downs, Residential Rent Controls: An Evaluation, Washington, D.C.: Urban Land Institute, 1988.
246. Richard Appelbaum, Rent Control: Facts Not Fiction, report prepared for the California Senate Rules Committee, January 1991.
247. For example, of the 70,572 rent controlled units in New York City, 4.4% are occupied by households with incomes $100,000 or more; of the 1,015 million apartments under rent stabilization, 5.3% have household incomes $100,000 or more. In contrast, 68.2% of the residents of rent controlled units, and 48.2% of residents of rent stabilized units have household incomes below $25,000. (Source: 1996 New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey, U.S. Bureau of the Census. See also, Deborah Sontag, "Off With Their Rents! Albany Aims at the Rich," New York Times, May 2, 1997).
248. Terry Feinberg, "End of Vacancy Control Good News for State," SJMN, August 19, 1995. Feinberg is executive director of the Tri-County Apartment Association.