Rent control has been a way for cities to regulate their housing prices and evictions since World War One, in the wake of a big housing shortage in New York. But that doesn’t mean it’s common. In fact, only a handful of cities in the United States have rent control, like New York City, Los Angeles, a few cities in the Bay Area and San Francisco.
Like everywhere in the Bay Area, home prices in Oakland have recently gone through the roof. The price of a house there is up almost 70 percent in the past two years. But West Oakland resident Steve DeCaprio has discovered an unusual way to acquire a home for free. DeCaprio has become an expert in finding and taking over abandoned homes – and it’s not as illegal as it might sound.
From a young age, many of us dream of the houses we’ll own. But those dreams don’t get into the reality of how much houses cost. These days, buying a house means getting a mortgage – which can wind up taking decades to pay off. And that’s if you keep from defaulting – defaults in the Golden State are more than double the national average.