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Shot Heard Across the Country

rent regulation

Property owners are increasingly facing attempts at the state and local level to expand rent regulation. This proliferation has coincided with states that are placing greater constraints on the ability of local governments to enact inclusionary zoning.

Massachusetts may be best known for the “shot heard round the world” in the American Revolutionary War, but recently it has also become the latest battleground in the fight over rent control. While several states are looking to roll back rent control preemption statewide, H3541 would only rescind the rent control prohibition for the City of Boston.

As Detroit and Michigan continue to move forward with a renaissance, state lawmakers are looking to failed housing policies of the past for solutions. The bill, HB4456 repeals the state law that prevents local governments from imposing rent control measures.

Out West in California, municipal rent control is once again a hot topic. The City of Santa Rosa has a ballot measure that will go before the voters in June, and the City of Pacifica recently approved a temporary rent control ordinance while they consider sending a rent control proposal to the ballot in November.

Inclusionary zoning has once again reared its ugly head—this time in Michigan. SB110 was introduced to allow for local governments to enact inclusionary zoning; however, the proposal is so ambiguous that while it’s intention may have been to allow for voluntary agreements, it’s likely to result in the growth of mandatory inclusionary housing ordinances.

The Indiana Governor recently signed into law an omnibus bill that included provisions dealing with inclusionary zoning. SB558 prohibited local governments from imposing inclusionary zoning requirements as a condition of development. This bill adds a new section to the state code, and amends the rent control statute. The success of this legislation would not have been possible without the strong backing of the Indiana Apartment Association.

If you are aware of a state bill or local proposal addressing rent regulation, please contact Robert Melvin, Manager of Government Affairs at [email protected].