Connecticut Declines to Take up Rent Cap Measure

March 13, 2023

The Connecticut legislature won’t take up a measure this session that would cap rent increases at 4 percent plus the consumer price index, the CT Mirror reported.

Last week, the Housing Committee declined to advance the bill, instead passing a measure that will create task forces to study rent stabilization and its effect.

“We need to really take a deep dive into this to make sure we are doing something that’s fair and equitable on both sides,” Housing Committee co-chair Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport), said according to the Mirror.  

The move comes after hearings that drew hundreds of Connecticut residents who said they can’t keep up with spiking rents that have, in some instances, increased 20 percent year over year.

Thirty-one states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, prohibit municipalities from passing their own rent control laws, the outlet said. The Boston City Council last week advanced a rent stabilization plan that ties rent increases to inflation, with a cap at 10 percent. That plan has several exemptions, including small landlords and buildings that are less than 15 years old. Still, that measure must pass the Massachusetts State House for it to go into effect.

Proponents of the Connecticut bill expressed frustration that the plan stalled in committee.

“The decision not to advance HB 6588 out of the Housing Committee leaves our communities in a crisis that will only continue to deepen,” Cap the Rent, the group pushing for the bill, said in a statement, according to the Mirror. “It is difficult to find a corner of this state that is not impacted by inflated rents, no-cause evictions, and poor housing conditions.”

Opposition to the plan came from landlords who said the plan would shift on to them the burden of inflation and other increasing costs that are above the cap. They also argued the plan could create a disincentive for landlords to invest in their properties or expand the number of units they have, the outlet reported.

“Without the ability to increase rents to keep up with rising costs, landlords have little incentive to improve the property, and builders are discouraged from creating new housing stock,” John Souza, president of the Connecticut Coalition of Property Owners, wrote in public testimony, CT Mirror reported.

— Ted Glanzer

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