How Did NYC Rent Get So High?

New York readers of (The) Absolute are, I’m sure, as well-versed as any in the ancient art of complaining about how damn high the rent is around here. But how did it actually get there? This documentary by Aaron Howell offers an answer in two parts: first, it explores the history of rent stabilization in New York City, including how it was dismantled on the governmental level at the behest of real estate. Second, it tracts tenant activists’ attempts to fight the latest round of landlord-friendly legislation. The complicity of presumably friendly politicians in the documentary provides some especially useful lessons about progressive politicians whose housing plans may not be all that. Food for thought this weekend.

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