We know the Orange County Register’s been swirling the bowl for some time, so it’s refreshing to see their Editorial staff get one right once in a while, and on a local issue and especially when they’re taking a Libertarian stance for a FREE MARKET. Unfortunately, they didn’t mention the principal in this editorial from yesterday, but there’s still some comfort to be had among who’s left in their R. C. Hoiles following: H.B. council right to keep rent control off ballot.
In a surprising reversal, the Huntington Beach City Council voted rightfully Monday to remove a ballot measure that would have asked voters to allow them to place rent controls on mobile home parks in the city. The council voted 4-3 in July to place the measure on the November ballot, but in another 4-3 vote this week the council overturned that decision. Switching their original positions, Council members Jill Hardy and Jim Katapodis voted to remove the ordinance, while Councilman Dave Sullivan voted to keep it. Mr. Sullivan originally voted against placing the measure on the ballot because he disagreed with changes.
Surf City has at least delayed a step towards socialized rent control as has dominated Democrat-led liberalized cities like New York and Santa Monica. Nothing kills a free market faster than unintelligent, politicized government intervention. Dave Sullivan, who’s long past his usefulness and needs to return to retirement, was dead wrong in saying “the council still owed rent control to seniors because they had been priced out of their homes”. Class politics might be good for Sullivan’s campaign contributions, but not for a housing market or business growth.
Termed-out Councilman Joe Carchio was correct:
“As you know, I know and everyone else knows … rent control does not work. It brings down the values of property, it brings down the city and how the city is run, and how it looks, and mobile home parks would be decimated.”
And so was the Register:
…rent control is a short-term fix with major long-term problems that far outweigh the benefits. It creates shortages for affordable housing by pricing housing units below market prices, creating a financial disincentive to improve properties and trapping tenants unwilling to move to higher priced, non-rent controlled areas. Further, it depresses property values on the sites it is placed, while raising property values and likely the associated costs for tenants on neighboring properties.
This is a tough issue for this Democrat-dominated city council — not as cut and dried as the stupidity of a plastic bag or styrofoam ban as they’ve back in the past. They’re not smart enough to understand the long-term, unintended consequences of rent control, need to drop the issue forever and just find something else to ban.