Rent control and inclusionary set-asides are the only ways to create affordable housing


Forget about letting outside developers come in and blanket your neighborhood with tons of extra apartments in the hope that some of them might trickle down to the lower- and middle-income schlubs who need to find a place to live that they can afford. That’s a fantasy world reserved for right-wing shills and Ayn Rand fans.

Unless the dream life you have for your kids involves setting them up in two-bedroom apartments with five constantly shifting roommates — and then having to be their official financial guarantor every time they need to move out and find a new place — there are only two things that will help to create more affordable housing for the kind of future you might want to see them living in: strong rent control protections and mandatory set-asides on new apartment units as proscribed by local law.

Just allowing developers to build more apartment buildings won’t do it. But forcing landlords and developers to devote a certain percentage of their new units to a lower rent schedule, and then imposing all of the rest of them to stringent rent stabilization, will.

Now you might be one of those lucky local families who have mom and dad or grandma planning to leave a convenient bequest to the deserving young ones, which for the last 30 years or so is how most Burbankers have been able to afford their own homes.

Few of them did it on their own, which is probably No.1 on the list of Burbank’s many unspoken little secrets. In that case of course, fuck helping anyone else. Right?

Because it might be unfair to … someone.



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6 responses to “Rent control and inclusionary set-asides are the only ways to create affordable housing

  1. Anonymous

    Never had to rent an apartment. Maybe get a good job buy used cars don’t wast money on clothes and jewelry and you won’t need to live in rent control. We’re on 4th generation of homeowners in my family. Can’t imagine living and paying rent my whole life to live in someone else’s building.
    Unfortunately the future holds Manhattan like life styles for the sake of density and the new theory cf suburbs were a bad idea.

  2. chad

    Well, Anon, you are lucky. The majority of people in LA County are renters and that’s pretty typical of major cities. Many hardworking people with “good jobs” have been renters all their lives. Rent control is meant to stabilize a community. I’ve been a renter most of my adult life BTW.

  3. Mike

    Suburbs were not a bad idea however what has been a bad idea is all this high density and mixed use building. For years the local government has done things to ‘create’ affordable housing (look back at decades of council meeting footage or read old Leader Newspapers) yet in the end all the local government has done is drive up the cost of housing. After years of effort and millions of dollars where is all the affordable housing our officials and tax dollars have created ? We need to face the reality that all local officials have done is make some local developers very very wealthy while the average person is barely able to survive here. Their most recent solution was to create a new business tax on Marijuana, please explain how that helps one bit with the cost of living problem when we all know the added money will only be used for more salary increases to the likes of the city attorney and the city manager, both of whom are over paid as it is.

    • semichorus

      They didn’t create it– they have to (by state law) put it in front of the voters.

      But they’re too wimpishly phony to put the whole marijuana issue in front of the same residents. They want to seal the decision off from the “people.”

      By refusing to put the MAIN issue to the voters, they’ve turned it all into one big hypocrisy.

  4. chad

    Here,Here, Mike!!!!!

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