First Steps Toward Rent Control in Minneapolis

The state of Minnesota requires local rent control law to be approved by general election, so the city of Minneapolis is forced to take several preemptory steps to get a rent stabilization ordinance on the ballot.

May 4, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Minneapolis Park

Sam Wagner / Shutterstock

Solomon Gustavo reports on the growing political support for rent control in Minneapolis, where voters could be offered the chance this November to vote on two questions related to rent control.

The questions would take the first steps toward rent control by asking voters to consider two proposed charter amendments. According to Gustavo, "the questions themselves would not impose any changes to how rental property is regulated in the city. Rather, they seek the ability for the city to do so — by getting around a Minnesota law that currently prevents cities from implementing rent control."

The first of the two proposed charter amendments would grant voters the power to propose, by initiative, a rent stabilization ordinance (i.e., a rent control ordinance). The second proposed amendment would grant the City Council the power to draft a rent stabilization ordinance for voters to subsequently consider.

These initial steps are necessary to work around the state of Minnesota's rent control law, which, writes Gustavo, "says that charter cities in the state can engage in 'controlling rent on private residential property' only if 'the ordinance, charter amendment, or law that controls rents is approved in a general election.'"

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