Friday, March 6, 2009

Control or chaos?


Rent Control, Amherst’s failed experiment in socialism finally pays off--but not for the tenants it was designed to help, now long gone.

A judge decided the $100,000 held in escrow since 1998 by fired (oops, I mean former) town attorney Alan Seewald should go to the town rather than the state.

The 1987 Rent Control fiasco represents the high water mark for liberalism gone amok. Not only did Town Meeting create a ‘Housing Review Board’ to dictate the rent a landlord could charge, but they gave these untrained amateurs the power of subpoena to bully and threaten landlords into compliance.

Within two years Amherst’s Rent Control went the way off the Dodo Bird; and oh yeah, the Berlin Wall also came down.

7 comments:

Ed said...

What the town *should* do is establish "reasonable rent" levels for Section 8 subsidies. That is perfectly reasonable and actually required by HUD regulation.

HUD did this for the Springfield SMA and the local housing authorities went to HUD and now are able to pay 120% of what HUD itself considers to be reasonable. So there is no reason why the town can't set define a figure that they consider to be reasonable based on some local criteria and then landlords could charge whatever they damn well pleased, but HUD would go to the housing authorities and tell them that HUD wasn't going to subsidize above a certain level.

This is the best of the free market at work. It also would address issues of code compliance and eyesores because the landlord (not agent) would have a financial interest in getting the highest rents possible, just like in the free (non subsidized) market.

And if you think that the current arrangement doesn't cause blight, well I can go through Orchard Valley and point out the Section 8 houses just from appearance (and be right...)

Neil said...

Not every result is a vindication of an ideology ;P

LarryK4 said...

For sure.

The Maginot Line looked great on paper or in ideology. But then the Germans did an end around.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize there were section 8 houses in Orchard Valley. Does anyone else know if this is accurate?

Anonymous said...

Ed, have you ever looked at some of the houses and yards where students live? Section 8 appears a tad better, don't you think?

Until later.........

Anonymous said...

Vince accused me (in the most friendly way) of getting Mr. Seewald fired.

Terry Franklin

Ed said...

Ed, have you ever looked at some of the houses and yards where students live? Section 8 appears a tad better, don't you think?

Ummm, no....

Maybe the last week of May, but for the other 51 months of the year, the Section 8 Apts are going to be worse. And never forget that many of the people whom you think are students are actually Section 8....