Rent Control

Issue brief

Rent control is the idea that the government, generally at the local level, should step in and control rent increases to curb high housing costs. Most states forbid rent control, including Washington. Only a few states have allowed rent control; New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland, DC, Oregon, and (newly) Minnesota. The idea behind rent control is usually to connect the increase of rent with inflation to match wages and the cost of maintaining housing. Unfortunately, rent control, though intended to keep people housed, ends up decreasing the housing stock and increasing overall housing costs.

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