Boston Mayor Michelle Wu Pushing For Rent Control

Printed from:

By Matt Murphy
State House News Service

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said Tuesday that she and Governor Charlie Baker spoke last week during their face-to-face meeting about rent control, and while she did not suggest she had changed his mind about the policy she said there could be a way to approach housing costs that looks different from the “old style of rent control” that the governor opposes.

Wu championed the idea of rent control during her campaign for mayor, but to bring back the policy in Boston she would need legislative approval and the signature of the governor. Baker has said he would be unlikely to sign rent control legislation, recalling his younger days living in Boston where an older, more professionally established couple lived in his same building, but paid less than him in rent.

“I think there’s a wide range of what we can do at the city level, when cities are given the power to really explore all the nuances of how we can protect our residents, keep people in their homes. It doesn’t have to look like how it’s looked in the past,” Wu said during her first Ask the Mayor segment on GBH’s Boston Public Radio.

“And in fact, in the places where it’s working today across the country, it looks very different and it’s in partnership with other tools and other policies that are meant to continue growing the supply of housing as well,” Wu continued.

Wu did not put a timeline on a rent control proposal from her new administration, telling hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan that she was focused right now on building out her cabinet and grateful that Chief of Housing Sheila Dillon has agreed to stay on at City Hall.

“Between her continued leadership and the ideas that we put out on the campaign trail, we’ll be moving shortly,” Wu said.

Reinstituting rent control in Boston would require passage a home rule petition on Beacon Hill, and Wu began a dialogue with the Boston legislative delegation about her priorities this week when she hosted the legislators at the Parkman House, next door to the State House.


New to NewBostonPost?  Conservative media is hard to find in Massachusetts.  But you’ve found it.  Now dip your toe in the water for two bucks — $2 for two months.  And join the real revolution.