Upstate Rent Control

The Story

Rent control has been part of New York City’s housing fabric for almost 75 years, though it doesn’t seem to have made it any easier or cheaper to live here. Now there’s a movement to spread the gospel of rent regulation to the rest of New York, including impoverished areas in the Southern Tier. When the biggest problem in areas north and west of the city is a mass exodus of residents, it’s hard to understand why Albany needs to meddle in local real-estate markets.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Vacant: Cities like Utica, Syracuse, and Buffalo have vacancy rates over 16%, which means that price pressure is keeping rents low, not high. Read more.

  2. Empty: The population of all the major upstate New York cities is shrinking in absolute terms. Read more.

  3. Disincentive: Upstate needs to promote development, but rent control will scare off likely investors. Read more.

“In Utica, where the vacancy rate stands at 16.2%, the past five years have seen the construction of a grand total of six new housing units.”

Howard Husock, Manhattan Institute vice president, research and publications

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Taking Rent Control to Court By L. Gordon Crovitz (Spring 1991)

“The winning legal argument against New York City’s rent-control laws has never been tried. It may be soon.”

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