As the average price of a single family home skyrockets in Boston along with rents, some housing advocates are returning their focus to rent control as a possible solution.

MIT economist Jonathan Gruber told Boston Public Radio Wednesday that rent control ultimately makes housing less available for most Bostonians, and less equitable.

A recent San Fransisco study showed that landlords just took newly rent-controlled properties off the market through condo conversion, ultimately reducing the total rental supply, said Gruber.

"Landlords of that type of housing pulled it from the rental market, converted it to high end condos," he said. "As a result, the supply of that kind of rental housing fell by 15 percent."

Gruber also said San Fransisco's experience with rent control resulted in the occupants of rent controlled units being 60 percent less likely to be racial minorities.

"If our goal is to make housing affordable to poor and minority populations, rent control backfires in two ways," he said. "One is it limits the total supply and two is it ends up allocating those units who are actually less likely to be poor and minority."

Jonathan Gruber is Ford Professor of Economics at MIT. He was instrumental in creating both the Massachusetts health-care reform and the Affordable Care Act. His latest book is "Jump-Starting America How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream"