Newark’s African-American Majority Passes Stronger Rent Control Law–No Gentrification Here!

Novelist Philip Roth grew up in Newark and has set what seems like a few dozen of his novels there. Since it’s only 11 miles from Manhattan, I’d hardly be surprised if it gentrifies and some of his great-grandchildren (assuming he has any) wind up in Newark.

Of course, Newark’s African-American majority aren’t in much hurry for that to happen. From NJ.com:

Newark city council passes new rent control ordinance
by Naomi Nix /The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — The Newark city council passed tonight a new ordinance that will make it harder for landlords to raise the rents of tenants in rent-controlled properties.

Under the old rules, landlords of rent-controlled buildings could raise rents annually by 5 percent if the building had 49 units or less and by 4 percent if the building had more than 49 units.

The new ordinance caps the annual rent increases to the the Consumer Price Index in New Jersey.

I.e., not much.

I had a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica in 1981-82 while I was getting my MBA at UCLA. The landlady invested not one thin dime in maintenance during my 20 months there.

Rent control did not prove as disastrous to Santa Monica, however, as my libertarian econ professor predicted. (I offered some theories why here.) But the demographics of Santa Monica in 1981 were maybe 80% white and 10% Asian, where as Newark in 2010 was 26.3% white and 1.6% Asian.