"What does economic evidence tell us about the effects of rent control?"

From the Brookings Institution. Not, the last time I checked, a member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.

Rent control appears to help affordability in the short run for current tenants, but in the long-run decreases affordability, fuels gentrification, and creates negative externalities on the surrounding neighborhood. These results highlight that forcing landlords to provide insurance to tenants against rent increases can ultimately be counterproductive.

"Econ 1 v. the roadblocks"

Professor Gordon agrees with, and expands on, the assertion that "Econ 1 (or Econ 101) is all you really need". (I agree, too.)

He recommends The Economic Way of Thinking, which I also like. And I'll plug Trade-Offs: An Introduction to Economic Reasoning and Social Issues, Second Edition. (It's narrower in scope, but the benefit is a tight focus on a really important idea in economics.

Related, by Paul Rubin: "We Must Teach College Students Basic Economics".