Rent Control – The term sounds powerful and perhaps gives the illusion that it is an effective solution to rising rent costs but is it really? Rent control laws cap annual rent increases across the board for a period of time and often with added conditions. It is intended to protect residents, but does it really protect those who need it the most?
Rent control was again a feature across state legislatures, city, and county councils during the elections last year. This year rent control will be front and center for its proponents and those who incorrectly believe the approach is a workable solution to housing affordability challenges. Research has found the rent control policy has failed repeatedly; instead shown to be counterproductive, ineffective, and bad economic policy.
St. Paul, MN serves as a prime example and one of many case studies demonstrating the dramatic and often immediate consequences of this flawed concept. Lawmakers in other jurisdictions have opted to enact statewide preemption and/or to focus on addressing policies that have thwarted development. This is not the answer! The multifamily industry instead chooses to advocate for solutions that have proven effective in addressing housing affordability challenges. Additional resources focused on the ramifications of rent control and workable policies to tackle housing affordability can be found at www.NMHC.org/rentcontrol and www.GrowingHomesTogether.org.