Rent Control Not The Answer

Advocacy News,

Rent control not the answer 

I wholeheartedly agree with professor William Sander's op-ed on rent control ("A Chicago economist weighs in on rent control," Feb. 15). Chicago has a definitive need for affordable housing options, but rent control polices historically produce unintended, counterproductive consequences, which have commonly included reductions in housing supply, including fewer affordable options. 

A 2017 study of San Francisco's rent-controlled market conducted by Stanford University found that rent control reduced the rental supply by 15 percent, while causing a 5 percent increase in rental prices across the city as a whole. 

Instead of rent control, policymakers should be focused on attracting more multifamily construction, translating to lower prices through increased supply, delivering needed units to keep pace with the forecast demand for 27,000 additional apartments in the Chicago area by 2030. Let's seek policies that incentivize development, reduce unnecessary regulations and explore expansion of public subsidies to those who qualify for housing assistance. 


Executive vice president, 

Chicagoland Apartment Association

CRAIN'S Chicago Business