Chang Wants Rent Control Prohibition Repealed

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Change in policy would protect senior citizens on fixed incomes
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

LANSING — State Representative Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) introduced House Bill 4456 today that would repeal Michigan’s rent control prohibition and allow communities to enact policies to address the problems created by increasing rents.

“As rents in Detroit, and other Michigan cities, increase, senior citizens living on fixed incomes face the real possibility of being forced out of apartments they’ve lived in for years,” said Chang. “Some of the local officials in my district support rent control policies and would like to see them adopted. With rent control it would be easier for seniors, as well as others with limited incomes, to afford to stay in their homes. It’s time to repeal Michigan’s ban on rent control and allow our cities to adopt policies if they choose to do so.”

Michigan’s ban on rent control policies was enacted in 1988 (Public Act 226). With more developers building luxury apartments in cities across the state, landlords of existing units are increasing rents to match the market rates. That makes it increasingly difficult for seniors and some families to find affordable housing, or to stay in the apartments they’ve lived in for many years.

“As Detroit continues to be revitalized and is experiencing an economic boon, it is incumbent upon its leaders to be forward thinking and ensure that the growth is sustainable,” said Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield (District 5). “Therefore, I support and applaud State Representative Stephanie Chang's efforts to repeal Public Act 226 of 1988 which tramples upon local control and a municipality's ability to be self-determinate with respect to the future. Right here in Detroit, PA 226 has hindered my ability to provide residents with equity with respect to tax abatements through my proposed Inclusionary Housing Ordinance."