Saturday, June 30, 2007

Democratically Elected Dunderheads

I work in Toronto, but I'm really very glad that I don't live in Toronto. Toronto City Council is up to its usual intrusive and counterproductive shenanigans.

Everyone in Toronto has come to the conclusion that there it's a very bad thing that the availability of rental housing continues to decrease year over year. (I don't really think it's a bad thing -- it largely means that people are doing well and buying their own homes.)

But let's pretend for a moment that I agree that a decline in rental availability is a bad thing. It seems to me that then I would want to encourage property owners to rent their properties out.

The geniuses at Toronto City Council, however, think it makes more sense to impinge on individuals' rights to do as they please with their own property, and send a message to everyone that if you are thinking about building rental property (or renting out your existing property), you better think twice because any future economic decisions you might like to make with your own property will be subject to their whims.

It's pretty shocking that people of power know so little about basic supply and demand. They are simply discouraging supply.

1 comment:

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

The article you link to states the following: "Under the new City of Toronto Act which became law Jan. 1, the city has gained specific powers to prohibit or regulate demolitions and conversions."

(Channelling SNL's Church Lady, played by Dana Carvey) ...hmmm. Who passed the new City of Toronto Act? Who was it? Who could it PAWWWWWsibly be?

Here in Pesticide Efflux Island, the cities (ha!) don't regulate the rental market, but the province does, and they especially regulate rents. The effect of this is that no one wants to build any new units in Sewerside or Chocolatetown, so the only places that are available to rent are absolute dumps.

But hey, apparently restricting supply is both the government's job, and is an example of how they help renters.

Last year, I was, for some reason, asked to make a written contribution to a study group that was / still is in the process of writing an updated, recommended rental act to the province. I should send it to you...the old true blue capitalist pig told them what they could do with rent controls, and why it would be a good thing for renters.