Tag Archives: public housing

Rent controls vs. public housing vs. means-tested housing vouchers

I’ve seen a lot of arguments in favor of rent controls. Right now I’m going to give a simple comparison of the + and – of the 3 possible ways to help the poor:

Rent controls:
+ Costs taxpayers less
– Shortages appear
– If on current homes, than those that aren’t rent controlled go up
– Deadweight loss
– Rich people can take advantage of them as well
– Side effect of reducing COLA’s
– Deteriorates the property due to land lords having no reason to pay for maintenance because they have a captive audience due to the shortages
– A few people who didn’t cause the very problem of the poor not being housed are burdened
– The poor’s options are limited to the housing the government chooses to rent control

Public housing:
+ Might drive down the price of rental properties
+ Paid for by the public, not just a few people
– Housing for the poor is limited to the public housing
– Government is an inefficient builder
– Costs taxpayers more

Means-Tested Housing Vouchers:
+ Restores to low-income families a say in the market
+ Empowers low-income people to go and find a place of their choosing to rent (though it should not be so much money that they can afford a mansion)
+ Continues to give landlords a reason to pay for maintenance, etc…
– Costs taxpayers more

Out of those, which would you choose?