Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell said the “increasingly hard” challenge of finding affordable housing in the city needs to be addressed.
"We have an affordability problem, or crisis, from some perspectives in the city of Boston," Campbell said on Boston Public Radio Tuesday. "The question is, if you are a young person, a veteran, a senior or a family and you're working two or three jobs, can you afford to live in the city of Boston?”
A home rule petition offered last week by City Councilor Althea Garrison would place a 7 percent cap on annual rent increases. Campbell said the proposal brings up a needed conversation with "varied perspectives" about the implementation of rent control in Boston.
According to Campbell, the petition received mixed reactions, with some critics suggesting the city’s deed restrictions already provided “a form of rent control” or suggesting the policy itself would not work.
“Everything should be on the table [and] we should have a conversation that involves as many stakeholders as possible,” Campbell said. “We need to have a more robust conversation because we don't want to hurt owner-occupied homeowners who … are truly making it affordable, and it wouldn't necessarily allow them to take care of their homes in terms of maintenance and all of that with rent control.”
If the ordinance passes, it will need to receive state approval, and would reverse a 1994 state-wide ban on rent control.
An earlier version of this story stated that Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell expressed support for City Councilor Althea Garrison's proposal. Campbell has yet to vote on the proposal and did not formally express support.