rent regulation, rent control, market ideology market populism, Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997, New York State government, rent stabilization, vacancy decontrol, landlord harrassment, deregulation


This article examines the ideological and political struggle over rent regulation that was waged by rent regulation opponents in the Spring of 1997. Part I traces the debate as it unfolded in 1997, including the role of legislative leaders, the governor, the press, and anti-regulation advocates. It focuses on the assumptions about the market shared by the various anti-regulation protagonists, and on the factors starkly omitted from their analyses. Part II sets forth the results of the debate, examining the provisions and consequences of the "Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997," including the legislation passed in 2003 to extend rent regulation another eight years. Finally, Part III offers conclusions about the role of market theology, the nature and motivation of anti-regulation arguments, the strategies of the governor, and the future of rent regulation. In an appendix, the article contains a "Chronology of the New York City Rent Regulation System."

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