[A]ny supply-side solution is wholly inadequate to the time frame of a housing crisis, especially when housing doubles as a vehicle for speculative investment. Last year over one in four apartments in Seattle’s downtown core stood empty, yet renters saw little relief beyond a temporary pause in rising rents. It’s unclear what better idea opponents of rent regulation have to offer than “wait it out.” With tenants at imminent risk of homelessness or displacement, the only other obvious short-term fix is to subsidize their rents, through vouchers, for example. Considering the substantial expense of such a program, and the questionable wisdom of signaling to private landlords that the public will absorb their price increases, limiting rent hikes starts to look like the fiscally responsible choice.

Katie Wilson, “Who’s Afraid of Rent Control?”