Should rent caps be included with housing efforts in Duluth?

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While housing is still an on-going issue in Minnesota, the coalition Home to Stay Minneapolis is urging the city to set rent caps. St. Paul last year used rent caps, and some have speculated whether or not Duluth should also adopt the policy.

According to Ben Whalen, a metro congregational organizer with ISIAH talked more about why the Home to Stay Minneapolis coalition want rent caps. “Homeowners and renters from all over the city, across race and faith are caucusing today with this shared vision to let our elected leaders and candidates know yet again that we’re in a housing crisis and renters need solutions.” Whalen said. “Now to us, a strong rent stabilization policy continues to mean a 3% cap on annual rent increases. That applies to as many renters as possible and helps keep people in their homes.”

David Fay, a congregational member of Faith in Minnesota also talked about the rent cap policy for Minneapolis. “This policy is what we need to protect our families and our communities, and we need it now. We can’t wait for some imagined future of newly constructed affordable housing to solve this problem.” Fay said. Approximately one in three properties in Duluth use rent, but there are still people experiencing homelessness.

However, Barbara Montee, the president of the Duluth Landlord Association said rent caps don’t necessarily help. “I think it’s a lot like a Band-Aid. And on the surface, it seems like a good idea. Rents are going up, let’s control rent. But I think the better answer is that we actually try to work together and Duluth is known for working together.”Montee said. “I actually talked to other landlords and I try to problem solve with them. So we need to just work together, reduce regulations, increase housing, and building. That’s a solution.”

We reached out to the Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority about rent caps. They released a statement saying “Rent stabilization has to be looked at from many angles. We, of course, need to work to keep our housing affordable so residents have a stable place to call home.  We also need to protect our business community and their right to have a reasonable return on their investment.  Finally, we need to be a welcoming city to new developers.  If we make it more difficult for businesses to operate in our community, they will look elsewhere.”

For more information on rent caps you can look here For a story about rent caps in St. Paul you can read more here