Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Should cities limit rent?
City leaders agree the state should not make a blanket policy, if for no other reason than the principle.
“I prefer the Legislature to stay out of local governments’ business,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who would prefer the state Legislature to tackle issues such as “reducing insurance costs, reducing utility costs, rather than addressing problems that aren’t really happening in most places.”
Said Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich: “I do believe the counties should be able to approve ordinances that approve rent control.” Not preempting local control “was always a mantra for the Republicans and now it isn’t. Municipal and county government know what the need is best in their communities.”
Not everyone agrees rent control is the right way to help people.
At a Joint Legislative Delegation Workshop this week State Sen. Jason Pizzo said he was “staunchly against rent control,” saying you’d never tell a burger shop how much to charge for a cheeseburger.
“That’s socialism and I’m completely against it,” he said.
The National Multifamily Housing Council agrees with him. The organization said only two states allow rent control: California and Oregon, as well as Washington, D.C. Other cities allow it such as St. Paul, Minn., and notably, New York City.
An organization spokesman said rent control tends to “causes the problem it attempts to solve,” said Jim Lapides. An artificial cap on rent is a financial disincentive to both landlords and developers, who tend to not get invested, which then means “the actual supply of housing falls and raises rent for everyone else.”