Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
From: Dennis Keating
To: Mayor and City Council, City of Seattle, Washington
Subject: State preemption of local rent regulation
I have been asked to comment on a Rent Control Resolution to the State of Washington to repeal the legislation banning localities from enacting rent regulation. From my long interest and knowledge of issues related to rent regulation, I am familiar with this issue. I have written extensively about rent regulation, including co-authoring the book entitled "Rent Control: Regulation and the Rental Housing Market" and a forthcoming article entitled "Forty Years of Rent Control' to be published in Cities: International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning (Vol. 49: 121-135).
Whatever you think about the efficacy and impact of the adoption of rent regulation, given differing local rental housing markets and the situation of renters in very tight local rental housing markets, I do not believe that it is sound public policy for state governments to deny to local governments the right to consider polices like rent regulation to address local housing needs. This is also true of other affordable housing policies like Inclusionary Housing to address the needs of low-and-moderate income households. In the case of rent regulation, I believe that the policies of the states of California and New Jersey which allow rent regulation by local option are the best approach to this issue, as opposed to requiring authority from the state before localities can consider the adoption of rent regulation (whether or not the state imposes certain restrictions on what type of rent regulation
Professor, Department of Urban Studies
Levin College of Urban Affairs
Professor, Cleveland Marshall College of Law
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Tel: (216) 687-2298
[A relevant article by Professor Keating]
Dennis Keating & Mitch Kahn. “Rent Control In The New Millennium”. Montclair, NJ: Shelterforce, May / June 2001. http://www.nhi.org/online/issues/117/KeatingKahn.html