Rent Control Expected to Expand in 2023.

Now that the mid-term elections are over, it’s time to review the situation with rent control nationwide. The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) is closely monitoring 23 states that are considering similar legislation.

Tenant advocates are pressuring President Biden to issue an executive order requiring rent restrictions on mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to the NMHC, which notes that the idea is gaining steam at the federal level this year.

California, Maine, and New York City were the only regions that supported the “flawed policy” which failed in 2022, according to NMHC. It is predicted, however, that Massachusetts will be the biggest danger to its passage in 2023.

NMHC says the Biden administration will continue to be urged to issue an Executive Order (which would not require Congressional approval). and thus “we anticipate major activity in state legislatures in the next year.”

Regardless of whether or not they are implemented, these regulations will receive public attention and as a result, at the very least constitute a reputational danger to the apartment industry.

The cities and states that are proposing rent control measures that fall into the Tier 1, 2, and 3 categories have been tracked by NMHC.


1st Tier


Colorado: Laws governing rent control are frequently proposed there. Such initiatives have stagnated so far.
 

Florida: Has statewide rent control preemption. However, the preemption statute includes a provision for an exception in the event that a local ballot initiative is approved and permits a one-year rent restriction. The real action may occur at the local level, despite the fact that NMHC anticipates bills to be submitted in the legislature to repeal preemption due to the way the law is now constructed.Orange County, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and other cities and counties may once more look into rent control preemption remedies.

 

Illinois: The state legislature seems to debate rent control every year there. Although attempts have so far failed, they are expected to try again.Maryland: Efforts to implement rent control are expected to continue at the county level, where the actual activity lies.

Massachusetts: Boston Mayor, Michelle Wu, declared reversing the state’s statewide preemption of rent control a key part of her campaign platform in 2021 and has since been working to convince lawmakers to do it.

 

Nevada: When incumbent governor Steve Sisolak lost to Republican Joe Lombardo, supporters of rent control suffered a setback. Nevertheless, NMHC anticipates a significant push in the state legislature, which only meets every other year.

Washington State: At the request of Seattle’s local representatives, state legislators frequently offer bills to end the preemption of rent control.


Tier 2


Connecticut: Supporters may try again next year after a bill to conduct a study on rent control failed to gain traction.
Hawaii: Several state legislators there have proposed rent control legislation. These measures were never put to a vote.

Michigan: Democrats now have control of the legislature and the governor’s office after switching the State Senate and State House. During previous sessions, Democrats sponsored legislation to eliminate the preemption of rent control.

New Mexico: In 2022, the Albuquerque City Council rejected a resolution requesting that the state legislature repeal the preemption of rent control.

Rhode Island: A law that attempted to cap rent increases at 4% annually but was unsuccessful in 2022 may be resurrected in 2023.


Tier 3


Arizona: While programs to encourage growth and provide incentives for low-income citizens are a significant portion of Governor-elect Katie Hobbs’ (D) strategy, it is a state worth monitoring for rent control activism.
Kentucky: Bills were introduced in 2022 but weren’t passed. They might be resurrected in 2023, but considering that the majority of the legislature is made up of Republicans, passage seems doubtful.

North Carolina: Republicans presently hold control of both houses of the legislature, and the state still upholds statewide rent control preemption.

 

Pennsylvania: It is difficult for rent control proposals to pass in a Republican-led Senate. The last attempt included implementation of statewide rent control starting in 2022 and cap rent increases at the lower of five percent plus changes in the cost of living or ten percent.South Carolina: Given the conservative makeup of the state government, it is unlikely that defeated legislation from 2022 will be passed in 2023.

 

California: Voters in Pasadena, Richmond, and Santa Monica approved rent control initiatives on the ballot for 2022. Further adoption of similar initiatives is expected.Maine: Portland voters in 2022 adopted a rent control initiative. Rent regulation is also anticipated to be discussed by the South Portland City Council in 2023.

Minnesota: In response to a ballot measure for 2021, St. Paul introduced rent control this past year. However, the city rapidly noticed a sharp reduction in growth, which compelled officials to change the policy. Minneapolis voters also granted the city council the authority to enact rent control in 2021; however, this has not yet been done by local authorities.

New Jersey: This year, the City of Perth Amboy implemented rent control. In 2023, additional cities might start addressing the problem.

Kingston became the first city in upstate New York to implement rent control. A State Supreme Court judge, however, prevented the city from implementing it.

Oregon: Despite passing statewide rent control in 2019, the state’s legislators are still looking for solutions to the state’s housing affordability issues.

 

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