Date of Award

Spring 6-3-2016

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Ali Modarres


Access to quality and affordable housing is a human need and, by some standards, a human right. However, as a commodity, housing is not available to all individuals at an affordable price. In the United States, rental housing affordability had been mainly tackled through local rent control measures. This paper shows that the changing features of the American housing toward a more urban based multifamily rental style have made affordable rental housing more important than ever before. Regardless of the nature of rent controls, municipalities have faced tough push back from developers, politicians and economists. The findings indicate that alternative to rent control such as the Housing Choice Voucher Programs and Project- Based Rental Assistance are highly effective in tacking affordability with much less negative consequences. However, the reality is that these alternative approaches are not heavily funded by the federal government on a long term basis to be fully sustainable.