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Rent Control Measures Heating Up in LA, Boston

Rent regulation measures are making progress in cities across the country, as new data shows that the typical renter in the US is rent-burdened. Lawmakers in Los Angeles just recently finalized a package of tenant protections including “just cause” eviction protections and a timeline for paying back rent, which have already gone into effect, while in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu recently submitted a finalized proposal for rent control measures to the city council. And just this week, a proposed rent control bill in Colorado cleared a House committee, though the measure is not certain to be passed by lawmakers. A Moody’s Analytics analysis released last month found that 30 percent of the median US income is now required to pay the average rent.

The number of cities and states considering rent regulation laws has been on the rise for the last few years, driven by a growing affordable housing crisis. The White House, while stopping short of calling for national rent control, recently announced new measures to protect renters and help promote more rental affordability. Those efforts include a renters’ bill of rights and a crackdown on rental discrimination. Renter advocacy groups have thrown their support behind rent regulation measures, saying they are crucial to preserving affordability and keeping Americans in their homes. Multifamily industry groups, however, have strongly opposed it, saying it would not help the country’s housing shortage and would disincentivize investment in housing. While some recent data has shown that rental prices are beginning to drop, for now at least, the battle over rent control continues.

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