Rent control policies in limbo

Following referendums passed by both Minneapolis and St. Paul voters in November, each respective city has been navigating different paths to enacting rent control policies.

In St. Paul, voters passed a very specific law that would only allow a maximum 3% increase in rent annually, but Mayor Melvin Carter and some members of the St. Paul City Council are still looking for ways to amend the language. One change that has been discussed would be to remove new construction from the 3% limit before the ordinance’s expected May enactment. The concern as outlined by Carter, some Council members and other experts is that the rent control limit is a disincentive for new rental construction in the city.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are each navigating different paths to enacting rent control policies.

On the other side of the river, a handful of newly elected and reelected members of the Minneapolis City Council are pushing for a similar policy to St. Paul’s, with a possible increase indexed annually for inflation as well. Council Member Elliott Payne expressed urgency in moving forward. “That’s going to be one of the very first things we do, because I think rent control is going to be one of primary policy tools for stopping the displacement [of renters],” Payne told Axios Twin Cities.

However, Mayor Jacob Frey is expressing concern about such a proposal. Frey voted in favor of the referendum in November. The Council is expected to discuss draft legislation in the coming months.