Charlie Baker approaches the crisis in housing affordability with all the integrity of Annie Dookhan approaching a drug test at the state labs.
“Rent control will stifle the production of new housing”. (quoted in today’s Globe).
Notice what Baker didn’t say: He didn’t say “Rent control will interrupt the wonderful progress we’ve made in making housing affordable” (because affordability has all but disappeared). He didn’t even say, “Rent control will undermine all the progress we’ve made developing housing” (because such progress has been scant, to put it mildly).
Rent control was outlawed in 1994. For 25 years the Commonwealth has tried the free market approach to housing affordability. You would think after 25 years Baker et al. would feel some obligation to defend the results of this approach, instead of reciting the real estate industry’s pet line. Since rent control was abolished, the short term effects have been the same as the long term results–unrelieved misery. The real estate industry has weaponized deregulation to displace poor people and gentrify neighborhoods.
Rent control won’t “stifle the production of new housing” Charlie. It just might stifle the displacement of tenants from gentrifying neighborhoods.
The 25-year experiment in free market shelter has been a bust. It’s time to start protecting at least some tenants from its worst effects.