Mayor Frey on rent control recommendation: ‘It’s not happening’

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had harsh words Wednesday for the top recommendation for a new rent control measure.

“It’s not happening. I’m not for it. I don’t support it,” he said. “If it moves forward to my desk, I will veto it.”

That recommendation from the city’s 25-member working group would cap rent hikes at 3% – meaning 3% is the maximum increase renters in Minneapolis would see in a 12-month span.

The group will present the recommendation to the City Council, which can accept it or come up with something different.

Supporters like Yolanda Roth, a Minneapolis landlord, applauded the group’s top recommendation.

“There is no excuse,” she said Tuesday. “I want to thank everyone who has been part of this work group whether they voted with us or not.”

But Frey says the plan would be detrimental to the rental market, pointing to what happened in St. Paul. City leaders say building permits there dropped nearly 70% and they had to go back and add exceptions to soften the impact.

“The overarching goal is to get a beautiful diversity of housing options and a beautiful diversity of people in our city and to have the ability to afford to live here,” Frey said. “An overarching goal is to get more affordable housing in our city.”

Cathy Capone Bennett with the Twin Cities Housing Alliance had a seat at the table during the discussions.

“I believe we need to focus on real solutions,” she said. “We believe that Minneapolis can be a real leader in addressing residents’,’ concerns with a targeted approach that gets in the hands of the lowest of incomes. … The working group’s recommendation is not going to solve that.”