Rent Control: Politicians vs. Renters

There is a belief among Progressives that rent control and other tenants’ “rights” will make housing more affordable, more secure, and more attainable for renters.

Tenant advocates such as CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy) have been urging the City of Santa Barbara to adopt policies they believe will help poor tenants. At a special meeting on March 21, the Santa Barbara City Council decided (5-2) to form a taskforce to examine rent control as well as other tenants’ rights policies proposed by CAUSE. (more…)

How to Make Housing Worse for Poor People

I live in Santa Barbara, California, which by most measures, including my own, is a paradise. It’s also very expensive because everyone wants to live in paradise. The average home price in our south coast was $1,352,000 in 2016. There were 789 homes that sold for more than $1,000,000 in 2016. Trust me, if you could figure out how to make a living here, you would pay the price.

The reason things are so expensive is that we restrict growth. No condo towers or massive tract development for us. Which causes a problem for those who can’t afford to buy a single-family residence and must rent. Apartment rents are high because we aren’t building many new apartments either. Now, those of you living in NYC probably think $2,000 to $3,000 for a one-bedroom apartment is reasonable, even cheap, but … presently there are only 15 units available in town. (more…)

Is More Debt the Key to the American Dream?

Some lawmakers think that the way to the American Dream is to load up on more debt at the top of the housing cycle.

Consider H.R. 898, the Credit Score Competition Act introduced into Congress by three Congressional Representatives. It would direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government sponsored entities (GSEs) that guarantee 90% of the mortgage loans in the United States, to lower credit standards for mortgage loans.

“Alternative credit score consideration by the GSEs is a win-win: it opens up the market in a responsible manner for those qualified to buy a home and eliminates the government-backed monopoly in credit scoring. That’s why the Credit Score Competition Act has garnered such strong bipartisan support,” said sponsor Rep. Ed Royce.

“Alternative credit score” is just a misleading obfuscation of the term “low credit standards.” Kind of like “alternative facts”. (more…)