Inclusionary Zoning Excludes Freedom
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 17, 2009—A new inclusionary zoning law went into effect in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. It requires housing developments with ten or more units to set aside 8 to 10 percent of their units for low and moderate income residents—in effect, partial rent control.
“Rent controls violate your rights,” writes Michael Berliner, co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Center. “As an apartment owner, you have the moral right to decide the price at which you’ll offer a unit for rent. The government has no right to dictate to you what rate you can offer.
“In a free society, no government—local, state, or federal—has the right to interfere with the choices of people to do business with each other. It should no more tell a landlord what price to offer than it should tell a prospective tenant how much he can spend on rent. Both the landlord and the tenant have the moral right to ‘just say no’ to the other’s offer. That’s freedom.”
Michael S. Berliner is co-chairman of the board of directors of the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif. The Institute promotes Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand--author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
For more articles by Michael S. Berliner, and his bio, click here.