Rent control continues to pose a threat to Chicago. This month, two House Bills went before the Judiciary Civil Law Committee in an attempt to lift the ban on rent control in Illinois. In response to this, and protests from rent control advocates, the editorial teams from Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times held an editorial board to hear both sides of the argument, after which they released their papers’ formal stances on the issue.
Chicago Tribune recognized that everyone wants more stable rents, but declared that statewide rent control is not the solution. Here’s why:
In Chicago today, price controls on housing would allow some renters to stay in place, but it would tighten supplies by enticing landlords to convert units to condos or sell to owner-occupants. Apartment owners also would be less likely to invest in their properties, spending less on upkeep because rising overhead costs wouldn’t be offset by rising rents. Investors would look elsewhere. As the value of rent-controlled apartment buildings stagnates, property tax revenue would decline.
The Chicago Sun-Times: High rents are a problem. Rent control is not the answer
The Chicago Sun-Times also came out against rent control. Citing the general consensus from economists that rent control is not the answer, the paper said:
Chicago does not need to wade into the quicksand here. Given the uncertain ramifications of rent control, our city and state could move forward, right now, on better ways to make rents more affordable.
Its concluding statement on rent control is consistent with our message:
Rent control is an overly blunt tool. It could do more damage than good. But about this there is no debate: Chicago needs more affordable housing.
Working Towards Affordability for All
The Chicago Association of REALTORS® continues to strongly oppose rent control and lifting the preemption. Instead, we are dedicated to protecting the private property rights of owners and finding more sustainable solutions for tenants and buyers by working with lawmakers and encouraging affordable housing solutions.
Visit these additional resources on rent control:
- Read: Busting 6 Common Myths about Rent Control
- Read: The Impacts of Rent Control in Chicago
- Watch: Rent Control’s Impact on Affordability
- Watch: Rent Control’s Impact on Bureaucracy
- Listen: REALTOR® Podcast on the Dangers of Rent Control
- Learn more: AffordabilityForAll.com
To fight rent control, write to your representatives and tell them to say “no” to any bill that threatens to lift the ban. Please take two minutes to complete this form today!