Over the last several years, some tenants in Saint Paul have experienced unsustainable rent increases. Tenant advocates are particularly concerned that these increases have had a disproportionate impact on people of color, exacerbating racial disparities in housing cost-burden and housing instability. Housing Equity Now Saint Paul (HENS) is reaching out across Saint Paul to gain support for a rent stabilization ordinance.
“Rent stabilization is a policy that prevents price gouging and excessive spikes in housing costs by allowing landlords to only increase rent by a predictable, reasonable percentage each year. Our coalition is pushing for a maximum 3% increase in rent per year,” according to HENS.
Under Minnesota law, however, a city cannot simply authorize a rent stabilization ordinance. Rather, an ordinance can only be adopted if approved by a citywide ballot. To place its proposed ordinance on the November 2021 general election ballot, HENS needs to gather 4,932 signatures from registered voters in Saint Paul by mid-June.