With rents soaring since the COVID-19 pandemic tightened the housing supply, more local governments are considering rent control to keep increases in check and, ideally, protect struggling tenants whose incomes haven’t kept pace.
At the same time, some states are enacting measures to prohibit cities from adopting rent control, a policy that has long divided economists and housing experts.
Proponents of rent control, among them Rutgers University economist Mark Paul, say arguments against rent control lack empirical evidence.
“I think it’s important to note that rent control does not say landlords can’t profit off their property. That’s not the point of rent control,” said Paul. “Rent control is limiting the ability of landlords, or corporately owned property owners from raising the rent by 6, 8 or 12% a year and pricing people out of their homes.”