We are dismayed by the Attorney General’s decision to certify the rent control ballot initiative, and stand in direct opposition to measures such as rent control that has been proven to significantly stifle new housing production. Even the mere mention of rent control has the chilling effect of drastically reducing the number of housing starts and permits created throughout any state.
Rent control poses significant risks to developers. Rent control also robs tenants of the ability to seek more choices of housing. Rent control also hurts job creation and lessens the economic vitality of our State. The primary driver behind the housing and affordability crises is the scarcity of available homes. If approved, these measures will have detrimental consequences for the rental housing market in Massachusetts, further exacerbating the already severe supply shortage and unfortunately increasing rental prices through far less future supply.
Rent control has a long history of failures across the country. Rent control was previously tried in MA and the results were disastrous. We repealed rent control in MA because there were problems of: corruption, misuse, inefficient allocation of housing, and conflicting laws. Rent control strains homeowners’ ability to properly upkeep their properties— leading to disrepair and an eventual abundance of safety concerns no one wants.
While it may appear to help tenants in the short run, rent control does not resolve the core drivers of the current affordability crisis. Consumer goods, energy costs and labor prices have risen for everyone- including homeowners and has saddle bagged them with increased maintenance costs. Rent control will disproportionally impact property owners through no fault of their own.
Policies like zoning reform and streamlining the permitting and construction processes could help boost housing supply, offering advantages to both housing providers and tenants and we urge the legislature to consider these…