Thursday, September 18, 2008


My childhood best friend recently snagged the motherload of NY housing - a brand new rent-controlled apartment in the up and coming Clinton neighborhood just north of Hell's Kitchen. He is actually paying LESS than what I pay and is virtually guaranteed this price until he keels over or strikes it rich and decides to upgrade. His odyssey to the perfect apartment, however, was not easy. From today's WSJ:
Today, there are 43,317 apartments where tenants (or their heirs) pay rents first frozen in 1947. There are another 1,043,677 units covered by rent stabilization. All told, about 70% of the city's rental apartments are either rent controlled or rent stabilized. And because the system has been in place for more than six decades, many residents see their below-market rents as an entitlement.
Sure, my friend is happy now, but has he been happy for the last 5 years as he's hopped from one insanely expensive and tiny apartment to another? In a way, he feels like he's earned this rent-controlled apartment and now he too suffers from the entitlement mentality.

hat tip: Megan McArdle

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