Boston Mayor Fights for Rent Control

Mayor Wu says putting a rent control policy in place is just one of several ways the city plans to improve housing affordability and prevent evictions, but the proposal requires state approval.

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January 24, 2023, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


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Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

In a paywalled article in the Boston Globe, Yvonne Abraham describes Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s fight to bring rent control back to the city, where it has been disallowed by state law since 1994. 

According to Abraham, “The city’s draft plan, which has not yet been filed and could still change, would tie allowable rent increases to inflation by permitting landlords to raise rents each year by 6 percent plus the federal government’s Consumer Price Index,” with an overall cap of 10 percent. The proposal “would exempt new buildings for the first 15 years after they open, as well as small owner-occupied properties such as three-deckers.”

Critics of the proposal say it could slow new housing construction, but Wu says it is just one part of a broader strategy. As Wu explained to the Globe, “It serves a very specific purpose, which is to stop the worst cases of displacement and rent gouging so that we have the chance to get that new housing built and open for families to have more choices.”

Abraham explains that the proposal would need approval from the state legislature. If that fails, Wu could propose a new law allowing states to pursue rent stabilization on their own.

Friday, January 20, 2023 in The Boston Globe

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