Around New England

Rent Control Popular In Boston Again

April 15, 2021

Rent-controlled apartments are no longer a thing in Massachusetts, but the people of Boston overwhelmingly support the idea, according to a new poll.

Nearly three-quarters of Bostonians said they would support rent control, according to a poll released by WBUR earlier this week.

In all, 59 percent said they strongly supported the idea while 17 percent said they somewhat support it. That’s a combined 76 percent on the side in favor while 21 percent opposed; 9 percent somewhat opposed and 12 percent strongly opposed.

The question was “How much would you support or oppose each of the following policies related to housing in Boston?” And the section about rent control said, “Rent control to prevent landlords from raising rents too much.”

In 1994, a ballot measure approved by voters statewide prohibited Massachusetts cities from enacting rent control on most privately-owned housing units. In all, 51.3 percent supported the measure and 48.7 opposed. That effectively ended then-existing rent control schemes in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline.

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