Election 2021: The Rent Control Questions (Minneapolis and Saint Paul)

Rent control / rent stabilization is on the ballot in both cities this fall. In Minneapolis, they’re seeking permission to write a rent control ordinance. In St. Paul, there’s a specific proposal.

In Minneapolis, it’s City Question 3 and reads as follows:

CITY QUESTION 3 (Minneapolis)

Authorizing City Council to Enact Rent Control Ordinance

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis, with the general nature of the amendments being indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?

Explanatory Note:
This amendment would:
1. Authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis by ordinance.
2. Provide that an ordinance regulating rents on private residential property could be enacted in two different and independent ways:
a. The City Council may enact the ordinance.
b. The City Council may refer the ordinance as a ballot question to be decided by the voters for approval at an election. If more than half of the votes cast on the ballot question are in favor of its adoption, the ordinance would take effect 30 days after the election, or at such other time as provided in the ordinance.

In Saint Paul, it’s City Question 1 (it’s the only city question on the ballot) and reads as follows:

CITY QUESTION 1 (St. Paul)

Whether To Adopt a Residential Rent Stabilization Ordinance

Should the City adopt the proposed Ordinance limiting rent increases? The Ordinance limits residential rent increases to no more than 3% in a 12-month period, regardless of whether there is a change of occupancy. The Ordinance also directs the City to create a process for landlords to request an exception to the 3% limit based on the right to a reasonable return on investment. A “yes” vote is a vote in favor of limiting rent increases. A “no” vote is a vote against limiting rent increases.

tl;dr — I would vote yes in Minneapolis, but I’m going to vote no in St. Paul.

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