Ballot measures across the country to build more affordable housing and limit rent increases performed well in last week’s midterm elections.
Voters approved capping rent increases at below inflation in three U.S. cities: Portland, Maine, and Richmond and Santa Monica in California. Another measure was leading in the vote count in Pasadena outside of Los Angeles. In Florida, voters in Orange County, which includes Orlando, overwhelmingly passed a rent stabilization measure, but a court ruling will likely prevent its being enforced.
Diane Yentel, CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said many of the dozens of proposals raising money for and authorizing construction of affordable housing also passed.
Supporters say rent control policies are needed to help tenants at risk of eviction. They say protections are especially needed now as corporations are purchasing rentals for profit. As of 2018, the Census Bureau found businesses owned nearly half of all U.S. rental units.
Opponents say rent control increases costs for landlords, the majority of whom are small mom-and-pop owners.