California cities with rent control, including Santa Monica, have seen more construction of apartment buildings than cities without such controls, housing advocates say. San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, the largest Bay Area cities with rent control, have seen a disproportionate number of new multifamily rental units built since 2000, notes Stephen Barton, the former Housing Director for the City of Berkeley. The three cities, which account for 27 percent of the housing in the Bay Area, built 43 percent of the area’s new multifamily rental units in buildings with at least five units, Barton said. The same trend is reflected in the City of Los Angeles, which accounts for 42 percent of the housing in the County but has built 62 percent of new multifamily rentals, he said. “Most studies have found that rent control has no effect on new construction,” said Barton, who holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California.
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