Boston doubles down on rent control as city faces lawsuit from landlords

(MASSLIVE) Chris Van Buskirk, March 02, 2023

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu defended a proposal to cap annual rent increases Monday in the face of a new lawsuit from a landlord advocacy group seeking more information about its origins and an opposition campaign from a real estate trade association

Speaking on WBUR Monday morning, Wu said a home rule petition to limit annual rent increases in Boston to 6% plus the Consumer Price Index — but no more than 10% in a given year— is only one component meant to work alongside a “whole range of supports,” resources and policy changes intended to increase housing supply and boost home ownership.

“We won’t stop and we will refuse to back down from pushing for every possible change for housing affordability. This is the one issue that is threatening our economy and our families,” Wu said.

Communications between city officials and members of the committee that drafted the home rule petition are the subject of a lawsuit filed Friday in Suffolk County Superior Court by MassLandlords, a group that describes itself as the largest non-profit for owners and managers of residential real estate.

The group, which opposes Wu’s rent control proposal, is trying to force the city to hand over emails between city officials and members of the mayor’s Rent Stabilization Advisory Committee.

MassLandlords said it made a records request in March 2022 in an effort to “discern information regarding the manner, method and procedure supporting the appointment of the RSAC membership” but only received a single “welcome email” sent to committee members.

Read More: Mass Live