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My My My

Posted by TenantNet on January 29, 1999 at 22:10:32:

In Reply to: Wellcome Newcomer posted by Nick on January 28, 1999 at 18:29:10:

There's a series of responses to what the landlords love to do: a troll.
Not that I know Nick is a troll, but his reasoning is the favorite
LL disinformation you saw in '97 and before, and we'll see it again. And
he's falling right into the trap (but he also sounds like a troll). This
also has the potential of a flame war, but that's for Usenet.

* Rent regs are no good because I don't get the protections and therefore
I'm subsidizing those who do (and they force rents up elsewhere).

Did anyone hear of divide and conquer? This is page one of the RSA playbook.

That also loses sight of what rent regs are for and their historical context. Rent regs
are not a cap on rent or on increases; they are a cap on the RATE of
increase. It's a way of TEMPERING an out of control market. Rent regs
are not appropriate where a free market can exist, but in NYC, for many
reasons unrelated to housing policy, a free market is nonexistent. Regulative
controls exist in many industries and are not some left-wing thing. The
FED is itselg a regulatory effort to temper the market. Rent regs are
not appropriate in Des Moines, but in NYC they are. They limit increases,
not LL income and there are several corrective measures to insure LLs make
profits. Indeed, rent regs actually guarantee a LL will make a profit. How
many industries will do that?

Rent regs were market wide because their historical context was to stablize
communities and keep people inside the city -- to pay taxes, to insure
someone would pay for the infrastructure, to avoid white flight, to keep
retail business alive (NYC politicians killed the city's industry and
mercantile trades through other methods). Look at Detroit and other cities
where in the 1960-70's many people fled to the suburbs. Those cities, still
dealing with abandonment, never had rent regs. The abandonment seen in NYC
in the Bronx and other areas are in areas where rent regs never had much
of an impact (many studies confirm this but the press headlines from our
dear press for some reason decides to ignore this). In poor areas, the caps
on LL income come from the areas residents not being able to pay higher
rents and LLs not being able to command higher rents. There are several
articles that treat this issue well.

Up until 1993 rent regs were market wide. In 1993 Albany instituted means
testing which was more self-fulfilling prophecy than anyone realized. LL's
were always saying rent regs were a subsidy, but they never were. With means
testing, protection is now based, to some extent on income and it has
become a system for the less affluent.

Many tenant advocates go around crying "affordable rents" but that begs
the question that LLs pick up on... if rent regs are ostensibley for
those who need affordable rents, then why [before 1993] protect the rich?
That's why they had a field dayy with Mia Farrow. Of course the real answer
is that the system was market wide for other reasons, not for affordability.

* The republicans are responsible

Actually [and I'm one who has seen it on the inside] the Democrats are
more to blame for cumulative weakening of the system, the devaluing of
the system and the idiotic bureacracy of the system. It was Cuomo who
created the 5-7 year wait to decide cases. If the IRS can keep track of
250 million Americans and their pocketbooks, then the State of NY can
keep track of its apartments and their rents and services. The point to
remember is that the Dem. party is controlled by landlord-friendly
machine pols like SIlver and Vallone (and assorted hacks like Vito
Lopez and Mike McKee) who, in the long run, do NOT want the system to
work. The undermined it from within. Tenant leaders know this, but few
are willing to say so publically. Very few Dems are willing to stand up
and admit the Emperor (their party) has no clothes. What they do is
duck and hide... claim they love tenants and that they tried, but couldn't
do any more. None will go after the bureaucracy that's idiotic. In the old
days of liveralism (Roosevelt), if a social program didn't work, they
fiddled with it or ended it. Now, it's a sacred cow. (no I'm not arguing
that tenant protections be ended, but made sane).

* Rent regs are respnsible for a whole host of problems... "nearly all the
housing problems in the City of New York are the direct result of rent
regulation. This includes overpriced rent, landlord harasment, lack of
middle/lower income housing, deteriorating quality of the housing stock,
failure to build new housing, etc., etc., etc. All these problems will
remain until the rent regulations are disposed of."

Not really. From the political context above, there are many problems
from the implementation of the rent reg system, but not with the idea or
reasoning for rent regs. Politicians do not want it to work. But even with
that the city of NY has never made a good faith effort to deal with
a sane housing policy, and that's a much wider issue than just rent regs.
But there's much more at play there. Building Code, Zoning, real estate
financing (the banks do more damage in the long run by rolling over
refinancing), and economic planning (lack of it). Is it any wonder that
now Giuliani and Fran Reiter are making NYC into tourism central. It's
a quick fix to bad long-term financial planning, and it will put to much
dependancy on this one sector (and destroy lots of housing and neighborhoods
to boot). They are doing little to attract light industry and retail trade.
Without the economy, you don't have communities and without communities
you don't have sane housing -- it's all speculation.

I'm dancing around a lot of subjects here, but they're all related.

Before shooting from the hip, I suggest all involve do some reading. I won't
have much more to say on this as it's a matter of not having the time. Go ahead
and discuss it, but no flame wars.

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