The rent-control lie


By Tim Redmond

I've been hearing this shit now for more than 20 years: Landlords say the reason there's no new rental housing built in San Francisco is because of rent control. Never mind that new buildings are exempt from rent-control anyway; it's that ugly monster in the radical left-wing closet -- actual limits on how much a tenant can be gouged -- that keeps housing-supply down and thus rents (uncontrolled rents) up.

Now, an economic report on the housing industry prepared for the Mayor's Office of Housing provides some very different answers. Why is there no rental housing being built? Because developers want huge, insance profit margins -- a minimum of 28 percent for large projects -- and condos pencil out better than rentals.

You make more money building condos. That's why nobody's building rental housing in the private sector. Let's at least be honest about it.