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File #: RES 22-408    Version: 1
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
In control: City Council
Final action: 3/23/2022
Title: Resolution from Council to Rent Stabilization Stakeholder Group
Sponsors: Chris Tolbert

Title

Resolution from Council to Rent Stabilization Stakeholder Group

 

Body

WHEREAS, an initiative was placed on the ballot for the City General Election held November 2, 2021, creating a rent stabilization ordinance to be codified at Chapter 193A of the Legislative Code (“the ordinance”); and

 

WHEREAS, after the City General Election, the Council of the City of Saint Paul determined that a majority of those voting on the ballot question voted in its favor; and

 

WHEREAS, given the City General Election results, and pursuant to Section 8.04 of the City Charter, the rent stabilization ordinance became law; and

 

WHEREAS, a stated public purpose of the ordinance is to protect the welfare of all persons who live, work, or own property in the City of Saint Paul by ensuring that Saint Paul residents have access to affordable housing; and

 

WHEREAS, on February 18th, 2022, Mayor Melvin Carter announced the convening of a forty-one member Rent Stabilization Stakeholder Group (“RSSG”) by the University of Minnesota Center for Regional and Urban Affairs (“CURA”) to identify considerations on improving and enhancing rent stabilization in Saint Paul; and

 

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Saint Paul City Council seek feedback and policy recommendations from the RSSG to help inform and improve the ordinance; and

 

WHEREAS, CURA’s work with the RSSG will be done pursuant to City contract to provide facilitation services to the RSSG and produce a report to be delivered to the Mayor and City Council by July 1, 2022; and

 

WHEREAS, the Saint Paul City Council wishes to declare its intent to consider amendments and improvements to the ordinance as contained in the report delivered to the City Council; now, therefore, be it

 

RESOLVED, that the Saint Paul City Council desires specifically that CURA include analysis and recommendations on the following topics from discussions with the RSSG in its report to the Council:

 

1.                     How to ensure stable rental rates in Saint Paul;

 

2.                     How to ensure quality affordable housing for both incumbent renters and for prospective renters;

 

3.                     How to implement an exemption for new residential construction; specifically what length of time the exemption should be for;

 

4.                     Data on the impacts of the rent stabilization ordinance that justify the recommendation above;

 

5.                     Provide recommendations for ensuring affordability and protections for renters in exempted new construction and policies to mitigate displacement;

 

6.                     How to establish a rent increase cap, whether any possible exceptions should exist from such a cap, and what those exceptions might be;

 

7.                     Whether and how to implement vacancy decontrol, meaning the ability of a landlord to increase rent above the rental cap in cases where a tenant vacates a unit; 

 

8.                     How to ensure compliance with a rent stabilization ordinance;

 

9.                     How to ensure that rental units and properties in Saint Paul are properly maintained, updated, and invested in while complying with the rent stabilization ordinance; and

 

10.                     Recommendations and best practices learned from implementing rent stabilization policies around the country for future consideration, including community education strategies that empower renters to understand their rights and landlords to understand and meet their responsibilities, staffing, budgetary considerations, and other recommendations as determined by the workgroup.

 

 

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