The Antiplanner is fully aware that government doesn’t work, but I wish that politicians would stop trying to prove it. First, the Portland city council has decided to make permanent a temporary rule that requires landlords to pay moving costs of up to $4,500 for any tenants they evict without cause or whose rents they raise by more than 10 percent. Portland housing costs have been rising at faster than 10 percent per year for the past several years. this is supposed to control that rise.
Instead, what it will do will discourage anyone from renting a house or building apartments for rent. This will only make costs rise faster than before.
Second, the California legislature is proposing to allow San Francisco to use congestion pricing to deal with the world’s fifth-worst traffic congestion. Only the bill doesn’t really call for congestion pricing; it calls for cordon charges, that is, a fee for crossing a particular line in the city or urban area. As the Antiplanner has explained before, cordon charges don’t really relieve congestion; instead, their real goal is to raise money that cities can then waste on useless urban monuments.
No one can really be serious about housing affordability unless they support eliminating the urban-growth boundaries that make land expensive in most Pacific Coast cities. No one can really be serious about relieving congestion unless they support true congestion pricing, either through variable tolls or mileage-based user fees. While I don’t expect these ideas to easily win the day, I would like to see some politicians take them seriously.