In 1996, the voters of Massachusetts voted to approve a ballot question that eliminated ‘rent control.’ Prior to this ballot question, municipalities could implement their local rent control regulations. As a result, various cities and towns put into place different rules for how much rents could rise. This created an economic catastrophe, as property owners could not keep up with rising taxes, maintenance costs, or invest in new housing development. The old days of rent control were eliminated and since then, Boston and the surrounding municipalities have experienced an economic renaissance.
Now Boston Mayor Michelle Wu wants to implement a form of rent control for the city of Boston, which would open the door for any municipality to do the same. For the Mayor to overturn the will of the voters and begin to set rental rate for private property owners, the mayor needs the legislature to approve of her policy. Currently, her policy request is before the legislature and a growing number of Socialists and far left lawmakers are supporting her rent control legislation.
MassFiscal strongly opposes any form of rent control. Rent control is government control and it would break the will of the voters. The practical result would be property owners would not have the funds to pay taxes, keep up with maintenance, and not be available to invest in new housing projects.
If Massachusetts wants lower housing costs, it needs to reject rent control. Even the public debate around the idea of implementing rent control sends a message that Massachusetts is not worth the investment. For Massachusetts to have lower housing costs, it must develop more housing in urban areas, eliminate costly climate change related energy regulations that add costs for renovations and new construction, lower property taxes, lower interest rates, and bring down inflation.
If Mayor Wu’s rent control bill begins to advance in the legislature, MassFiscal’s policy team will notify the public. Sign up for email updates to stay updated….