May 21, 2014

Newark passes stronger rent control law

Novelist Philip Roth grew up in Newark and has set what seems like a few dozen of his novels there. Since it's only 11 miles from Manhattan, I'd hardly be surprised if it gentrifies and some of his great-grandchildren (assuming he has any) wind up in Newark. 

Of course, Newark's African-American majority aren't in much hurry for that to happen. From
Newark city council passes new rent control ordinance
by Naomi Nix /The Star-Ledger  
NEWARK — The Newark city council passed tonight a new ordinance that will make it harder for landlords to raise the rents of tenants in rent-controlled properties. 
Under the old rules, landlords of rent-controlled buildings could raise rents annually by 5 percent if the building had 49 units or less and by 4 percent if the building had more than 49 units. 
The new ordinance caps the annual rent increases to the the Consumer Price Index in New Jersey.

I.e., not much.

I had a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica in 1981-82 while I was getting my MBA at UCLA. The landlady invested not one thin dime in maintenance during my 20 months there.

Rent control did not prove as disastrous to Santa Monica, however, as my libertarian econ professor predicted. (I offered some theories why here.) But the demographics of Santa Monica in 1981 were maybe 80% white and 10% Asian, where as Newark in 2010 was 26.3% white and 1.6% Asian.


JohnSmith said...

Roth/Portnoy is a Jewish man who gets sexually aroused by the idea of black men defiling shiksas. In other words, he was a pioneer jewish pornographer. Not that Portnoy's Complaint doesn't have its hilarious moments. "I'm the Raskolnikov of jerking off!" At any rate, he's what's wrong with the Jewish mentality toward goyim America.

Anonymous said...

(Gasp) What are you saying, Steve? That its residents' SKIN COLOR has something to do with a city's quality of life?

What is this, Nazi Alabama or something?

manton said...

Rent control has not been kind to Berkeley. All the owned housing in the Hills, Elmwood, Claremont, the North Side, etc. has gotten incredibly expensive but the rentals around campus and in the flats are wrecks.

Anonymous said...

Here is some 1967 rent control in Newark. It did wonders for the price of rents in the city for the next, ohhhh..., 47 years!

Anonymous said...

As ghetto as Newark is, it's real problem is bed bugs. The whole city is infested. If you buy a house there you'll need to spray the place with Malathion or, better yet, DDT, before you can sleep there. Otherwise, you'll wake up in the morning looking like you have smallpox.

Anonymous said...

The classic story about Philip Roth is an occasion when he was introduced to a famous actress and she shook hands with him."Gee I hope he washed them" she allegedly said afterwards.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe Newark is 26% white, unless they are counting the Brazilians as white.
Newark has a large Brazilian population, which is why the "New York" Red Bulls play their games in Harrison, 5 minutes from Newark and one subway stop away.

hanktheheretic said...

Steve, you've been posting quite a bit on gentrification, but as a fairly uninformed young man my question is: where do all all these poor people go pushed out by gentrification?

lower-middle class White Suburbs?

Its great and everything that all these downtowns are going to have upscale coffee shops and doggy salons soon, but somewhere some White people have to get the short end of the stick.

Anonymous said...

Philip Roth had several marriages, but no kids....

Stuff Black People Don't Like said...


Newark is only 11.6 percent white.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend who got a rent control place in Santa Monica years ago. To get it, she had to pass the owner a bag of cash with $10,000 in it, and since she was a working yuppy the land lord knew she wasn't going to be living there the rest of her life so basically was a rent increase for the about two years she lived there.

When I asked about it I found it this is SOP for any newly available rent controlled place in Santa Monica. Shhhhh. Don't tell the liberals that all they do is push the rent increases under the table.

Pat Boyle said...

Are we expected to sympathize with you because your landlady didn't sink more money into your rent controlled apartment?

Why should she?

If you wanted repairs which would have been unrecoverable losses to her, why didn't you just offer to pay more money in rent off the books, or to pay for the labor and materials for repairs?

Rent control is a means by which the state tries to make landlords bear more of the burden on rising costs by not allowing them to pass on those higher costs to tenants. Since there are always more tenants than landlords democracies often succumb to this temptation.

Landlords by and large want to maintain their properties. Government makes that more difficult. But it is like inflation - a hidden tax that the public doesn't connect with government policy.

Pat Boyle