Skip to main content

The Lockean Project

Stabilization is control

‘Stabilization is control’, Carmel Pine Cone – Sept. 8, 2023

The Monterey city government is walking its citizens into a horrible mess. When I attended the May 30 meeting in which we discussed its proposed compulsory rent registry, I talked briefly to Mayor Tyller Williamson. I told him that economists are almost unanimous in their view that rent controls cause shortages of housing, cause landlords to cut down on maintenance, and discourage new construction.

He replied that he doesn’t advocate rent control, but instead, favors what he called “rent stabilization.”

It’s a distinction without a difference. Rent stabilization is simply a form of rent control because it’s a government limit on rent.

The compulsory rent registry that the Monterey City Council voted for will be the first step to rent control. I don’t know if the mayor will regret it, but a lot of people in Monterey will.

David R. Henderson, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution