Few people have heard of the War Emergency Tenant Protection Act, at least not by its formal name. However, New Yorkers do know it by its more common name: rent control.Rent control in New York City began in World War I as an emergency measure. It ended in the late 1920’s when the war was over and the markets were roaring. During World War II, New York passed the War Emergency Tenant Protection Act as a temporary measure to keep workers and soldiers from being priced out of the city. As with most “emergency” laws passed during wartime, this “temporary measure” never left. Rather, it served as a permanent increase in government control over the free market.62 years later, there are still 43,317 apartments with rents fixed at their 1947 prices. Another 1,043,677 units are rent stabilized with property owners forced to place a rent ceiling at $2,000 per month. So much for a free market; 70% of New York’s rental apartments are still under rent control or rent stabilization. So much for keeping prices affordable; New Yorkers are still unable to buy houses. Maybe if prices were allowed to increase, there would be further incentive for the construction of… Read full this story
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