Once prices aren’t allowed to increase to meet demand, people face strong disincentives to build new units.
Rent control has been a disaster wherever it’s been tried. But this never stops politicians from suggesting it.
When I first came to Alberta a quarter-century ago, vacancy rates in Calgary and Edmonton exceeded 10 per cent. In Edmonton, where I lived in 1988, landlords often gave one month free on an already cheap 12-month lease. Sometimes utilities and cable were included.