Could Rent Control Die by Decade’s End?

rent control Could Rent Control Die by Decades End?About those rent-controlled apartments. Beyond the sad story of peeling paint and killer court fees, what really caught the Observer‘s roving pink eye was a chart from the Census Bureau listing the number of rent-controlled apartments since 1987:

1987: 155,361

1991: 124,411

1993: 101,339

1996: 70,572

1999: 52,562

2002: 59,324 [Numbers jumped due to a reevalutation following the 2000 census.]

2005: 43,317

2008: 39,901

At this rate, as our handy graph shows, rent-controlled apartments will be gone by the end of the decade. Unlike rent stabilization, where rents go up every year at the discretion of the Rent Guidelines Board, rent-controlled apartments have relatively stagnant rents and are much harder to deregulate. As the Post macabrely suggests, the decline in the number of rent-controlled apartments in the city is largely the result of the death of the apartments’ aging occupants, like the 97-year-old Magnus Saethre.

Rent Control

mchaban@observer.com