Rent control will be top issue for Minneapolis City Council

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Several progressive Minneapolis City Council members are making a strict rent control ordinance their first big to-do at City Hall.

Why it matters: 53% of voters approved a ballot measure last November giving the new City Council power to enact some kind of rent control ordinance.

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Between the lines: Mayor Jacob Frey and City Council President Andrea Jenkins have not signaled support for a strict ordinance like the one that recently passed in St. Paul, which caps increases at 3%.

  • St. Paul's also doesn't provide exemptions for new development or for a landlord to raise rents after a tenant leaves their unit.

What they're saying: Minneapolis' Ward 1 City Council Member Elliott Payne wants a strict policy.

  • "That's going to be one of the very first things we do because I think rent control is going to be one of the primary policy tools for stopping the displacement (of renters)," he said.

Yes, but: Jenkins told Axios she wants a more targeted ordinance.

  • "We have data. We have research. We know who is being impacted by these nefarious landlords. We know where they live. And so we can craft a policy to really get at where the issues are."

By the numbers: Twin Cities metro rent prices increased by 3.3% in 2021, according to new Consumer Price Index data released Wednesday.

The bottom line: If Frey doesn't support a strict policy, it's not likely to happen. But it remains to be seen if some type of ordinance becomes law.

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