Local 49 Supports Committee to Educate Voters on Negative Impacts of Rent Control

A broad coalition of civic and housing leaders has launched efforts in St. Paul and Minneapolis to educate voters and defeat rent control ballot initiatives which, if passed, would result in less investment in housing and fewer available housing units in both cities, further exacerbating the current housing supply shortage.

Sensible Housing campaigns in both cities are supported by construction trades, REALTORS®, property managers and owners. These partners are focused on finding solutions to a housing shortage, rather than imposing rent control that will discourage investment and will disincentivize new housing from being built in St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Jason George, Local 49 Business Manager said:

“The rent control policies being pursued in St. Paul and Minneapolis are bad for both cities. If implemented, these policies will ensure that fewer housing projects are built and fewer repairs are performed on existing properties. These misguided proposals will literally mean fewer places to live, and for those that are renting now, worse living conditions. St. Paul and Minneapolis both have financial challenges and affordable housing shortages. Rent control will make both problems worse while also killing good paying jobs in the metro area. Local 49 is strongly opposed to these ill-advised policies.”

“If these ballot initiatives pass, it will mean fewer jobs and homes in both St. Paul and Minneapolis.” said Minnesota Multi Housing President and CEO Cecil Smith said. “Rent control is a failed policy that results in fewer housing options for renters and limits a property owner’s ability to maintain and repair older apartment units.”

The problem these ordinances seek to address is important, however rent control is the wrong solution.  Consider the following:

  • One obvious solution that housing providers have advocated for years is to build more housing. However, rent control, if passed, would inhibit the creation of new housing in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  • Just this week, St. Paul homeowners learned that property taxes on a median-valued home could rise by 11 percent. Under St. Paul’s most stringent in the nation rent control ballot measure, rent increases would be capped at 3 percent per year.  How would the differential expense be made up by housing providers?
  • In Minneapolis, the proposal would put the power of housing prices and policy in the hands of the City Council, which in a recent Minnesota Poll had a favorability rating of only 28 percent.

If passed, the St. Paul rent control proposal would be the most extreme and restrictive proposal in the country and would apply to all rental housing, including single-family houses.

If passed, the Minneapolis proposal would give the City Council a blank check on the prices they could set for rental housing.

The growing Sensible Housing Ballot Committee includes, the North Central States Carpenters, IUOE Local 49, St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS®, Minneapolis Area REALTORS®, the Minnesota REALTORS®, Minneapolis Regional Chamber, Minneapolis Downtown Council, and the Minnesota Multi Housing Association.

Click here to view the press release.