The Key to Affordable Housing: A Critique of the Communication Workers Union’s Rent Control Proposals
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) report tries to ride the wave of trendy anti-capitalism, insisting that the housing crisis is somehow a crisis of ‘free-market capitalism’, when there is hardly a part of the British economy that is as far away from free-market capitalism as the housing market.
Most authors who call for rent controls do not present a detailed policy argument. They merely describe the problem of high rents, and then present rent controls as a self-evident solution. They tend to see the case for rent controls as so obvious that it requires no further explanation, and assume that opponents of rent control are either acting in bad faith, or are just not interested in the problem.
At the national level, the reintroduction of rent controls is now official Labour Party policy. No matter how popular they are, rent controls are not and could not be a solution to the UK’s housing crisis.