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73 Years Ago
The March 1, 1951 Colorado Transcript described a public meeting on the subject of rent control. The meeting had been attended by 42 people, “most of them owners of property and landlords.”

Rent control had been imposed in 1942, by the federal Office of Price Administration in areas that had large defense plants. In Golden’s case, that was the Remington Arms Factory at the Federal Center. As with other wartime privations, property owners accepted it as necessary to the war effort.

Eight years later, with the war long over, rent control was still in place but landlords were beginning to grumble. In 1950, the Transcript ran an editorial titled “Socialism and Your Home.” It stated that “your home is the first target of Socialism.”

Because of a housing shortage, created in some instances by rent control, there is a cry for subsidized political housing. Public housing is tax-exempt. This means that those who are home owners must carry a greater tax bill. It is estimated that within five years, there will be over a million subsidized houses in the country.
Colorado Transcript
– July 20, 1950

That same year, the Feds decided to allow local governments to decide whether they would keep rent control. In February of 1951, City Council held a public meeting to gather public comment on the topic.

Mrs. Merle Smith of 101 Tenth street, presented the case for decontrol, citing facts and figures and illustrating her talk with photographs of rental units in Golden. She stated that the only reason for rent control is to curb the price of rents where rental units are scare. She then presented data to show that this is no longer the case in Golden.

Mrs. Smith used classified ads from the Transcript to show that during the first six weeks of the year, 23 rooms, 27 tourist cabins and rooms, 40 apartments, and 27 houses had been advertised. She added that 18 vacant houses had been listed in the 1950 Golden directory.

Mrs. Smith had contacted cities that had already dropped rent control (Englewood, Littleton, Ft. Collins, and Greeley). “…her findings showed that since de-control there were more units available in these communities and they were in better repair.”

The March 22, 1951 Colorado Transcript announced that Council had voted to end rent control in Golden.

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!