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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

St. Paul’s Rent Control Ballot Initiative: How Will It Work?

On November 2, St. Paul voters will determine whether to implement a new “fare stabilization” mandate that raises annual rents by 3 percent. here are the details:

the language of the ballot

“Should the city adopt a proposed ordinance limiting rent hikes? The ordinance does not increase the residential rent to more than 3 per cent over a period of 12 months, irrespective of the change in occupancy. The ordinance also directs the city to create a process for landlords to request an exception to the 3 per cent limit based on their right to a reasonable return on investment. A ‘yes’ vote is a vote in favor of limiting rent increases. A ‘no’ vote is a vote against limiting fare hikes.”


While the process for obtaining the exemption has not yet been determined, the city council and city staff will be expected to create a system where St. Paul landlords are investing in a major renovation of their apartments, with the exception of the cap. can search. Among other conditions that may warrant temporary relief.

of supporters

Organizations such as the Alliance, TakeAction Minnesota, the Frogtown Neighborhood Association and the West Side Community Organization have formed the Housing Equity Now St. Paul (HENS) coalition. They note that rents have climbed faster than wages and sometimes faster than inflation, and tenants are vulnerable to violent practices such as sudden price increases. St Paul’s City Council members Mitra Jalali and Nelsey Yang have campaigned in support of the ballot initiative.

main quote

A statement from HENS said, “A growing number of corporate and predatory landlords have chosen advantage over people, hiked rents to make more money and forced our neighbors to rent out of their homes. ” “Rent stabilization is a proven policy that protects tenants from unreasonable rent spikes, accounts for landlords’ operating expenses and is cost-effective for our city and taxpayers.”

Proponent Website: housingequityTSTP.org


At least four city council members are protesting. Council Presidents Amy Brendmoen, Chris Tolbert, Dai Thao and Jane Prince have all expressed concern that developers will limit maintenance and production of new units, reducing affordability. Paul Area Association of Realtors and Minnesota Multi Housing Association members point to the examples of New York and San Francisco, where rent control limited tenant turnover. With few existing tenants willing to give up a rent-controlled apartment, newcomers to those cities must compete for the limited number of units available, which helps keep prices high.

main quote

“Rent controls in other cities are limited to certain buildings or tenants,” said a statement from the Minnesota Multi Housing Association’s Sensible Housing Ballot Committee. “But this measure covers all tenants, regardless of income, and all rental units in St. Paul, regardless of building size or number of units. This measure goes too far. No one knows what its cost is. How much or how will it be implemented.

Opponent website: ThinkTwiceStPaul.com

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