Activists urge passage of rent bills

Rent control was back on the table Tuesday for Massachusetts lawmakers, as the Joint Committee on Housing held a hearing on several tenant-landlord bills this week, including two that would give municipalities the option to pass rent control measures.

The first, “An Act Enabling Local Options for Tenant Protections,” is a bill co-authored by Democratic Reps. Mike Connolly of Cambridge and Nika Elugardo of Boston that would “remove the prohibition on rent control” while aiming to “provide tenant and foreclosure protections.” Such protections would be decided by the municipalities passing protection laws.

The second, “An Act Relative to the Stabilization of Rents and Evictions in Towns and Cities Facing Distress in The Housing Market,” filed by Cambridge Democratic Rep. David Rogers, would allow any Massachusetts municipality to impose a limit on annual rent increases for tenants earning 80 percent or less of the area median income.

Rent control

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