Rent control prohibition for local government heard

A bill that would prohibit a local unit of government’s ability to deploy rent controls passed the Minnesota Senate Housing Committee this week, making it more difficult for communities facing exorbitant housing costs to help renters. For a local unit of government to enact rent controls, voters within a community would need to support it on a general election ballot. This bill would remove that authority.

Advocates for the proposal argued that rent controls result in a reduction in investment on several fronts, and while it may temporarily help tenants the long-term impact is negative. Proponents of the bill argue that this proposal would remove local control and limit self-governance.  Many Minnesotans are also facing housing insecurity as the cost of rental properties is becoming exceedingly expensive.

The bill was referred to the Local Government Committee where it may receive a second hearing. (SF 912)