In November 1994, Massachusetts voters tossed rent control 51 percent to 49 percent.
While some over the years lamented the repeal—particularly in pricier areas such as Cambridge and Boston, where majorities voted in 1994 to keep rent control—the issue seemed settled.
Now, there is pending legislation on Beacon Hill that would devolve to towns and cities the authority to institute the mechanism—a regularly adjusted cap on how much landlords can raise rents per lease—amid other tenant protections.
The legislation is a response to evictions and displacement stemming from the Boston area’s notorious housing crunch, its supporters say. Opponents of reigniting rent control say it would dissuade landlords from investing in their properties and developers from building apartments (count Governor Charlie Baker in this camp).
What’d you think? Should Massachusetts allow its municipalities to institute rent control? Is it necessary to protect tenants in the Thunderdome that much of the Boston area’s apartment market has become? Or would it just make things worse?