Cover: Reforming Rent Control in New York City

Reforming Rent Control in New York City

Analysis of Housing Expenditures and Market Rentals

Published 1971

by Joseph S. DeSalvo


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A summary of the analysis performed in a recent New York City-RAND Institute study of rent control (R-649). Using the 1968 Housing and Vacancy Survey as the database and multiple regression analysis as the technique, the study attempts to determine what effect rent control has on a household's expenditures on housing and the "ability to pay" of households currently living in rent-controlled housing. The pattern of rental expenditures was determined by analyzing the relationships between rental expenditure and income, household size, and the age, sex, and ethnic background of the household head. Four rental housing submarkets were used: Manhattan uncontrolled, controlled; non-Manhattan uncontrolled, controlled. Despite the generally lower quality of controlled housing, it is a substantial bargain in the sense that rents are typically well below those of similar uncontrolled housing. Estimated total annual subsidy to tenants of rent-controlled housing is roughly $800 million, an average of $650 per unit.

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