Stakeholder group to present rent control recommendations to St. Paul city council Wednesday

In February, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter formed a stakeholder group, including renters, landlords, developers, and advocates, to find ways to improve the rent ordinance. The group included 41 people in total.

University of Minnesota professor Edward Goetz is a part of the group that is putting forward two recommendations to the St. Paul City Council Wednesday.

The first is a package of ideas that includes a 3% rent cap, certain eviction protections for renters, and even the ability for property owners to attain a “reasonable rate of return.”

Another key issue is exempting new construction from rental caps for 15 years. Mayor Carter announced this past February he supported an exemption for new construction.

The second recommendation by the group relates to rental rate increases once a unit or property becomes vacant.

There is concern that “partial vacancy deconstruction” as it’s called, could lead to rent increases far above 3%.

Housing advocates say they applaud the recommendations of the group but say the city council needs clearly define them.