City Council looking for consultants to study effects on affordability, housing market.
The Minneapolis City Council is considering whether they should move forward on another controversial step to protect tenants: rent control.
Earlier this month, the council directed staff to find consultants to study the effects of rent control in Minneapolis. Advocates say limiting landlords' ability to raise rents would help keep housing affordable and avoid displacement of residents. Property owners have said rent limits would stymie the market and keep them from being able to invest adequately in the homes they provide.
A 1984 Minnesota statute prohibits local governments from adopting rent control policies unless voters approve it in a general election. It was adopted after a showdown over a proposed rent cap in Minneapolis.
Council Member Jeremiah Ellison, who co-authored the staff direction with Council President Lisa Bender, said they're looking for someone "to do a competent market analysis to help us understand what a rent control policy would mean for Minneapolis." He pointed out the council hired consultants when considering policies around the $15 minimum wage and inclusionary zoning.
"Right now, we're not having the 'Can we, can't we' conversation, we're just trying to explore the 'should we, shouldn't we,' " Ellison said. "If we get back policy analysis that says rent control is an awful policy and it wouldn't solve any problems, then it's not something that we would be pursuing."
The council has no draft ordinance or other details about how rent control could work in the city, or had no information on which consultants they would use or how much they would cost. The council's Housing Policy and Development Committee is expected to receive an update about the consultant search Nov. 13. Staffers must have a contract in place by March 15.
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"Minneapolis City Council begins research on rent control"; By Marissa Evans; StarTribune; October 17, 2019