I recognize that at first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to get depressed. Sure, it’s sad to see some people getting their rents raised and being forced out of the places they call home, but there’s hope! A couple people successfully challenged a rent increase in court! Also, people are having a demonstration for rent controls!
As you may suspect with my excessive use of exclamation points, I’m rather skeptical of these “good” points. Before you accuse me of being in thrall to “greedy” landlords, I’m not depressed because the landlords who own the property are facing the prospect of increased restrictions on what they can and can’t do with their own property. Sure, I’m disappointed, but not depressed. This happens all the time in California, I’ve become numb to it.
Why, then, is it depressing? Because rent controls shouldn’t be considered necessary.
More specifically, the price of housing shouldn’t be rocketing so high that people feel the need to artificially restrict increases in price.
Renting is already bad enough. You are paying someone else money to have a place to live, and you have no hope of ever seeing that money again. It’s gone, off to enrich someone else. To me, rent control isn’t a victory. You’re still paying money to someone else; rent control is just getting the government to haggle the price down for you.
Ownership is better; there may be more responsibility, but the money you pay monthly for mortgage is to facilitate your purchase. Sure, you’ll likely have to pay that mortgage for a long time, but once you do, you’re done! You have a rather expensive asset to your name. Ownership of real property is the most common way for an individual to build wealth, and societies where ownership is distributed amongst the population are most likely to be wealthy.
But home ownership is an impossible dream for many in California, and instead many people, poor and middle class included, are being shut out of a state that has increasing become a playground for the rich.