On Wednesday, June 28, Minneapolis City Council voted against a strict rent control ordinance moving forward. The motion to introduce and refer “Rent Stabilization Framework 5” failed on a 4-6 vote, with a subsequent motion to “Return to Author” passing on a 5-4-1 vote (1 being an abstention). This council action all but ensures that the proposal won’t advance in time to place the issue before Minneapolis voters on the November ballot. Three council members in support of rent control measures were absent, as the Council meeting fell on the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha.
“Rent Stabilization Framework 5” was a strict and ambitious proposal that included a 3% cap on annual rent increases, with no exceptions. This Council motion postpones this version of the policy indefinitely. The motion also kills a previous motion instructing the city attorney to draft this version of the ordinance. Any new forwarded policy on Rent Stabilization would need to be in “substantially different form,” pass the city council, and must include resolution language to be included on the ballot. Under state law, the deadline to report ballot language from the city to Hennepin County must be reported no later than August 25, 2023. Short of any further action on a new version of Rent Stabilization—which remains possible but faces an exceptionally tight timeline—the issue is off the table, at least for now.
Minneapolis Area Realtors® fundamentally opposes Rent Control measures, first and foremost based on private property rights. The ability of an owner to buy, sell, or “let for rent” property is fundamental to property ownership. These regulations introduce artificial determinants into an otherwise free market rental marketplace. Rent Control confers too few benefits at the expense of the many and reduces overall housing supply. Realtors® are in favor of housing policies that provide a full range of housing options at prices that Minnesota families can afford, and believe there are more effective ways to create a more balanced and equitable marketplace, without rent control.