Nora Ephron really started something with her New Yorker article about all those wealthy New Yorkers with rent-controlled apartments.
On the Walk-Through, Damon Darlin discusses a follow-up op-ed column, by John Tierney, in today’s New York Times. Quoting Tierney’s column:
Like European nobles in crumbling castles, rentocrats are above money grubbing. They deserve their homes because of their longevity and their virtues. They compare rent control to Fulbright scholarships ó a stipend wisely provided to worthy intellectuals and artists. They will announce, with a straight face, that they’re entitled to keep their apartments because of the extensive “emotional investment” they have made in the buildings.
They scorn tacky landlords obsessed with getting higher rents so they can pay for nonemotional investments like furnaces. Ephron writes witheringly about the beehive hairdo and pink silk suits of the building manager, a “frightening” woman ó and a resident of New Jersey. The Apthorp tenants were appalled at the landlords’ efforts to renovate the property ó how bourgeois! ó so they could get permission to charge higher rents.
The constant lament of the wealthy about the loss of their rent controlled homes never ceases to amaze me.
This is a huge point of contention within my own family. Parties will remain nameless, but some of my family members live in rent controlled homes while also summering in the Hamptons and wintering at a five star hotel in Florida. They also have a fourth residence. Their rent controlled apartment has a garage full of Mercedes, BMW, Saab, etc.
I’m just not sure the creators of rent controlled housing had this family profile in mind.
Once again I ask, where are our teachers, firefighters, police officers and other civil servants supposed to live when the wealthy are living in rent controlled homes?