Minneapolis — Rent Control Ordinances to be Heard on February 24
Minneapolis City Council members Cam Gordon, Jeremiah Ellison, and Lisa Bender have introduced two ordinances regarding rent stabilization, commonly referred to as rent control. These ordinances pertain to adding the City’s authority to exercise power to control rents on private residential property in the City. The ordinances are on the Policy & Government Oversight Committee meeting agenda on Wednesday, February 10 at 1:30 PM. A public hearing will be held on February 24, offering Minneapolis residents the opportunity to speak either for or against the measure. Advance sign-up required, (MAR will provide sign-up information once it becomes available).
Rent control is prohibited by Minnesota state law. However, state law also contains a provision that allows rent control if approved by the voters on a ballot initiative/question. The first of two ordinances amends the Minneapolis City Charter to add the authority of registered voters of the city to propose, by initiative, a rent stabilization ordinance to regulate rent on private residential property in Minneapolis. The petition requires signatures by a number equal to five percent of the total votes cast at the last previous state general election in the city. Upon submission of the required number, the city clerk certifies the ballot questions, the city attorney conducts a legal analysis, and the City Council has 150 days to act on the petition. The Council could vote at that point to place the question on the November 2, 2021 general election ballot. The second ordinance indicates that upon approval of more than half the votes cast on the ballot that the rent control ordinance will take effect 30 days from date of the ordinance or at such other times as fixed in the ordinance.
Minneapolis Area REALTORS® notes neither of the these two ordinances contain any further language about rent control or how it is applied. There is no discussion about what the rent control cap would be (3%, 5%, 10% etc.). Minneapolis Area REALTORS® opposes rent control because it decreases new supply of rental units brought to market and decreases the current supply of affordably priced rental property. See MAR’s rent control talking points.