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Rent Control and Housing Investment: Evidence from Deregulation in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Publication Date: May 2003

Publisher(s): Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Center for Civic Innovation

Author(s): Henry O. Pollakowski

Topic: Business (Real estate business)
Government (Local and municipal government)
Social conditions (Housing)

Keywords: rent stabilization; Cambridge, Massachusetts; deregulation; rent control

Coverage: New York Massachusetts


This study, authored by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) economist Dr. Henry O. Pollakowski, tracks the effects of rent deregulation on construction and repair-related housing investment in Cambridge, MA since rent control ended there in 1994. Dr. Pollakowski finds that rent deregulation in Cambridge led to a 20% increase in construction and repair related investment in formerly rent-controlled buildings. This study suggests that similar deregulation in the New York City housing market should lead to significant new investment in both affluent and modest income neighborhoods, thereby increasing housing quality.


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