Scapegoating Rent Control: Masking the Causes of Homelessness (Nov 2007)

  • Scapegoating rent control: masking the cause of homelessness

  • By Richard P. Appelbaum, Michael Dolny, Peter Dreier and John I. Gilderbloom. Published online in the Journal of the American Planning Association on 12 April 2007

  • Abstract:

    • While many analysts contend that a shortage of affordable housing is a principal cause of homelessness, one recent well-publicized study argues that housing shortages themselves —and hence homelessness— are ultimately the result of ill-conceived local rent controls.

    • This study, conducted by William Tucker, has been widely cited by opponents of rent control as a justification for limiting the ability of localities to regulate rents.

    • The research presented in this article is a re-analysis of Tucker's data that corrects for methodological shortcomings in the original analysis.

    • The research shows that there is no evidence to support Tucker's conclusion that rent control causes homelessness.

  • Keywords: rent control, homelessness, US

Rent regulation has a long history and it has been research and documented. This provides opportunities for solid and evidence-based journalistic accounts of recent and current rent regulation initiatives.