During the past decades, home ownership has replaced privately owned rental housing as the dominant form of tenure in Israel. An important factor in this transition has been rent control. This paper examines the development of the rent control system, surveys the other major housing policies, and considers the main effects of rent control on the housing market. The Israeli rent control system is characterized by far reaching security of tenure; rent ceilings that are a fraction of the free-market rent; legalized "key money" shared between owner and tenant; and decontrol after a tenant dies or the landlord repurchases the unit. Consequently, the construction of privately owned rental housing has ceased. The controlled sector is disappearing, and the remaining stock is badly undermaintained and deteriorating.