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You had to know this was going to get a reply

Posted by MikeW on October 03, 2000 at 11:38:42:

In Reply to: Re: Knowledge is Power (he must read the Post) posted by TenantNet on September 29, 2000 at 08:02:05:


You didn't start this, but you did continue it. See comments below

: Having said that (yes, we're breaking the rule a little bit, but it's our board), no one has ever said rent regs were a perfect solution. They have their weaknesses. But they have also been mischaracterized to the point where rational discussion is near impossible. They also don't really work any more, but that's because it was the Democrats (no, not the Republicans) who weakened them to the point where there's no enforcement and have little remaining value, except as a voluntary system.

All the rent regs are is a bone thrown by the democrats to renters to get their votes

: Even those economists that aren't carrying a right-wing agenda will admit that the criticism (i.e., fair market gurus) is based on economic assumptions that don't alway's exist. For example, Samuelson, the primer of fair-market and Keynesian economics, criticizes rent regs, but does so in a vacuum. He asserts rent regs causes abandonement, but almost every study conducted to confirm this concludes that for whatever valid criticisms may exist for rent regs, there is no support that the system induces abandonment. Indeed, what causes abandonement and creates other problems (such as lack of new construction) are arcane zoning and building regs, not rent regs.

When rent regs for LL to rent at loss, they abandon buildings. Remember the South Bx in the late 70's, early 80's

: Nor do the economists acknowledge that in certain places, like NYC, there really isn't a free market for economic leveling forces to work.

This is wrong. I've seen it work. Remember early 90's recession. Rents went down. I rented an apartment for less than regulated rent, and had less then regulated increases for 3 years.

:There is no room left. Once can't build a new (and cheaper) apartment complex at the edge of town as might be done in a midwestern city (where rent regs would be inappropriate).

But old small building could be torn down and replaced with bigger one with more units. The new building would also pay higher taxes. Or, if the developers take the abatement, they'll be 80/20 buildings with low income units.

:And NYC economics are often based on intense speculation, not on real and demonstrated market forces. If there were the possibility that NYC could operate as a truly free market, the discussion could be more open, but that's simply not the case. No room, other regulatory restrictions, public policy to balance the city's need for commercial, manufacturing and open space all influence the inability of a free market in residential issues.

This is a crock. If the government got out of the way (which it most certainly could) more than enough housing could be created to satisfy demand.

: As for benefits of rent regs, when it works there's quite a lot of beneftis, including a stable (albeit increasing) and predictable rent, a stability of neighborhoods, the ability of small business to flourish, tenants who commit to an area for many years, put down roots, pay taxes send kids to city schools, etc. Without stable rents, the major businesses would not be able to staff their back offices. Other studies have shown one of the lrgest problems faced by the larger businesses is that the workers cannot afford to live in an area. Rent regs are about the viability of a city as much as they are about affordable housing [which is not always a code word for the poor].

Again, crock. These issue are better served by moving to owner occupied housing instead of rentals. I always get a (sarcastic) laugh when people say the rent regulation causes people to put down roots and take a stake in a community. You have a hell of a lot more stake in the community when the value of your largest asset depends on it. When it comes down to it regulated renters are leaching off the community. As far as business are concerned, they need a growing housing stock to house their worker. They also wouldn't mind if the average income in their neighborhoods went up, which would likely happen if the rent regs died.

: The so-called elite is over a million tenants, most of whom don't earn more than 50K. And ever since the Democrats put in vacancy deregulation in 1994, we have not seen hoards of new affordable construction (it's all luxury), rents have gone through the roof, we often hear $3,000/month these days where just two years ago $2,000/mo was extremely rare. And the city has become more populated by suburban yuppies that expect malls and the like. But all those dot-commers who email us with problems paying their $3,000 month rents tell us that people do want affordable housing and stability.

Which will only come with increasing the housing stock, which will only happen if the rent regulations are killed. Remember the regs only help entrenched long time renters. Anyone new is SOL, and has been for decades.

: So that's it, this thread will not got protracted, but we suggest tenants be very weary of studies endorsed by, signed by or paid by the RSA and REBNY, two NYC landlord groups that do everything in their power to limit your rights, raise your rents and evict you on a dime.

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