Adobe Stock

Voters across the nation approved several measures aimed at helping the affordability crisis in early November.

In Minnesota, two ballot issues focused on keeping rental housing affordable and preventing excessive increases in rents. In St. Paul, a majority, 52.89%, approved stringent rent control—capping annual rent increases at 3%, including for new construction and vacant apartments. Voters in Minneapolis gave City Council the approval to craft rent control policies. This passed with 53.2% of the vote.

Opponents have argued that rent control is not the way to help renters and will most likely force developers to move outside of the city limits. According to the Star Tribune, some developers are already putting projects on hold and reevaluating their plans.

“Although well-meaning, rent control measures do nothing to provide real relief for those they intend to help. The passage of rent control measures in Minneapolis and St. Paul are a true setback for those committed to finding effective solutions to address the cost of housing,” stated the National Multifamily Housing Council. “Rather than improving the availability of affordable housing, rent control laws exacerbate shortages, cause existing buildings to deteriorate, and disproportionately benefit higher-income households. These measures could result in even further instability for Minnesota’s renters and the rental housing market, at large.”

In the West, voters weighed in on the impact that short-term rentals are having on their communities—primarily making housing less affordable for local workers as well as decreasing the available supply of rentals.

Read More