Renters who needed to move couldn’t qualify.

Loikkanen's figure 2 shows the landlord's optimal acceptance policy with three switch points. The graph shows V,W vs. time T, where the time access is reversed. A line of W1(t) is monotonically decreasing over time. A line of W2(t) is the same with lower total value. A line of V*(t) decreases for a time and then starts increasing again. The lowest point of V is the optimal value of an occupied unit for all time. This occurs during a time when only a type 1 tenant is acceptable.

Landlords waited longer before approving an application.

In 1985, Finnish economics scholar Heikki Loikkanen analyzed rent-control policies. 

This paper predicted the ranges within which landlords would leave units vacant. 

His detailed graph shows that landlords under rent control hold units vacant longer waiting for the perfect applicant. 

When prices fall below cost, landlords remove units from the rental market altogether.  

A photograph of 292 – 298 Broadway, Cambridge, where John McAdams attempted to leave his apartments vacant. The building is three stories tall, painted tastefully and elaborately, with glass front shop windows.

Rental availability was reduced during rent control.

Loikkanen’s prediction came true. 

During rent control, some owners opted to leave their rentals vacant.  

Those who did lease their properties left them vacant longer than usual. 

Approved applicants tended to have higher incomes, better credit and no criminal records. 

The landlord of this building left his building vacant.

A scan of the Maringas study showing row after row of occupation equal to "doctor." Additional columns show marital status, age, rooms, max rent, and whether heat, gas electricity, water, furniture or parking were included.

Rich people took at least 20% of rent-controlled dwellings.

In 1988, Arthur Maringas, a Cambridge resident, became concerned that rent-controlled apartments weren’t going to renters in need. 

He launched an independent study of 12,385 rent-controlled properties, or two-thirds of all units.

He counted households headed by 246 doctors, 298 lawyers, 265 architects, 259 professors, 220 engineers, and 2,650 students (1,503 graduate students). 

Judge Ruth Abrams wears old fashioned cravat and jacket with a bowl haircut. Prince Frederik wears a suit, tie and gold wedding band, and moustache and goatee. Ken Reeves wears glasses and a suit and stands in front of protestor signs as he talks with protestors.

A judge, a prince and the mayor had rent-controlled apartments.

Cambridge tenants in rent-controlled units included Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Judge Ruth Abrams (left); 

Prince Frederik of Denmark, a Harvard graduate student at the time (center); 

and Cambridge Mayor Kenneth Reeves, who lived in a rent-controlled apartment from his undergraduate Harvard days in the 1970s beyond 1994 (right).  

A photograph of City Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a multi-story stone building with a tall obelisk-shaped central tower.

Fewer than 10% of rent control tenants were low income.

It would only become clear following the 1994 statewide vote to ban rent control. 

The Cambridge city council devised a plan to transition low-income renters to decontrolled rentals. 

Only 9.4% of Cambridge tenants qualified. 

The overwhelming majority of rent-controlled units were occupied by middle- and high-income earners, not those who needed rent control.

The cover sheet for David Sim's August 22, 2006 publication in the Journal of Urban Economics shows his paper title: Out of control: What can we learn from the end of Massachusetts rent control?

There was disparate impact on the basis of race.

In Massachusetts, like in America, there was and remains an unfair black-white wealth gap.

There also were and remain unfair differences in credit scores, criminal enforcement and eviction impact.

All of this contributed to an unfair black-white application gap.

In 2006, David Sims showed in a peer reviewed paper that people of color occupied only 12% of rent controlled apartments, despite representing one-quarter of Cambridge residents.