“In the absence of robust investments in fair and affordable housing, it is clear that additional timely executive action is needed to address the urgent issue of historically high rental costs and housing instability,” the lawmakers wrote. “…We urge your Administration to pursue all possible strategies to end corporate price gouging in the real estate sector.”
Specifically, lawmakers had called on the president to direct the FTC to issue new regulations defining excessive rent increases and enforce actions against rent gouging, suggestions that are aggressive than what the administration has so far put forth. The letter also asked to have FHFA put in place rent protection for tenants living in properties financed with government-backed mortgage properties, which is more closely aligned with what the president outlined on Wednesday.
In Wednesday’s announcement, the administration also sought to rally state and local governments — as well as the private sector — to protect renters.
The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, for instance, have agreed to cap annual rental increases to 5% per year for federal- or state-subsidized affordable housing.
Do you know what will result in even less affordable housing? The government punishing people who choose to build it and rent to marginal renters. If government is going to cap rents and make it impossible to evict deadbeats, landlords will just stop participating in that part of the market.