Around New England

Rent Control Supporters Give Up Ballot Question Campaign In Massachusetts

November 14, 2023

A ballot question asking voters to legalize rent control won’t be going to the general election ballot in Massachusetts in November 2024.

Supporters have given up their effort to get signatures of registered voters for the proposed referendum. Supporters collected 10,175 signatures of the 74,574 needed by Wednesday, November 22, one of the leaders of the campaign, state Representative Michael Connolly (D-Cambridge) wrote in a blog post Friday, November 10. That’s about 14 percent of the total.

Connolly lamented opposition to the signature campaign from left-of-center groups that support rent control but thought a pro-rent-control ballot question could not win in 2024.

Rent control supporters are focusing instead on a bill that would allow municipalities to enact rent control – though State House News Service noted that “top Democrats” in the Massachusetts Legislature “have shown virtually no interest in bringing back rent control.”

Rent control is illegal in Massachusetts, and has been since voters approved a ballot question in 1994 banning it.

Supporters of rent control say it would help make housing affordable.

Opponents say it would make the housing squeeze even worse, by lowering or eliminating the profit incentive to build new housing.

 

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