Measures for Rent Control Are Increasing Across the Country

Legislation is being considered or passed in at least five states.

Many states around the US, including Florida, California, Minnesota, New York, and Nevada, continue to discuss and implement rent control.

According to a study released this week by the National Multifamily Housing Council, a number of proposals have either been passed, rejected, or put on the ballot in November (NMHC).

According to Ric Campo, the company’s chief executive, apartment operators like Camden recently said in The Wall Street Journal that “it will not build in a rent-control market.”

According to Sean Rawson, co-founder of the California-based Waterford Property Company,“From a public policy perspective, rent control is an extremely short-sighted way to provide housing affordability.”  As a developer and investor in affordable housing, Waterford is a strong supporter of income-restricted housing; yet, imposing rent control unfairly burdens private investors, deters new investment in communities, and costs the long-term rental advantages.

“In my opinion, the long-term negative effects far outweigh any short-term political benefits for elected leaders.”

Building permits in Florida often take two years to obtain

These administrations keep citing a lack of homes and rising demand. The recent declaration of a housing state of emergency in Lake Worth, Florida, was considered as the first step toward attempting to enact rent control.
Governments continue to use regulation to stall the building of new homes. According to a recent survey by NMHC and the National Association of Home Builders, the average cost of developing a multifamily property is 40% accounted for by regulations at all levels of government.

According to the Florida Apartment Association, some Florida developers have to wait up to two years to get their building permits.

A review of the status in each state

A resolution to put rent control on the ballot was approved by Orange County’s County Commissioners in Florida. If adopted by voters, the resolution would set a one-year limit of 9.8 percent on rent increases in Orange County.

The city councils of Tampa and Saint Petersburg both voted down initiatives to place rent regulation on their November ballots.

The influential Culinary Workers Union Local 226 in Nevada committed to keep working for passage, and according to NMHC, “we expect a fight at the state level in 2023.”

Kingston, New York, became the first upstate city to establish rent control in the state of New York. 90 miles north of New York City is Kingston.

According to local reporting, the legislation applies to structures with six or more units constructed before 1974, which corresponds to around 1,200 units.

In California, Richmond’s city council decided to put a rent control issue on the November ballot. Richmond is located immediately north of Oakland.

According to NMHC, “if passed, rent increases would be capped at 3 percent of a tenant’s existing rent or at 60 percent of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower.”

In November, a rent control referendum will also be held in Pasadena.

St. Paul, Minnesota, is thinking about making adjustments to the rent control ordinance it passed last year. A member of the municipal council is proposing to provide new development a 20-year exemption. According to the NMHC, certain federally funded housing would also be exempt from the regulation.
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