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City Eyes to Extend Rent Control – But Should it?

House for Rent

City’s much controversial rent control ordinance is set to have an extension.

The ordinance first passed in 2006, however due to litigation with the Prince George’s property association (PGPOA), it only went into effect last year.

In 2009, the City paid a consulting firm [Sage Policy Group] to study rent Control in the City’s residential areas. Titled “There Remains a Rational Basis for Rent Stabilzation in College Park“, the group concluded this in its final report “Rental conversion continues, homeownership is falling and rents are on the rise. Research indicates that stable homeownership is associated with numerous societal benefits and that to the extent that homeownership declines, communities are less well-positioned to enjoy those benefits.”

Now the City is trying to extend the rent control ordinance by studying again the need of continuing the ordinance. In tonight’s council session, the Mayor and council will discuss just that.

It’s not quite clear how much this study would cost.

The primary goal of having a rent control is to prevent single family houses being turned into rental units. However, as we already have a record number of foreclosed / vacant houses in the city, and new student housing being added in downtown, does that tell us that there is less interest from the investors to buy residential houses and convert them to rental?

I’m not a big fan of the PGPOA (the landlord association), but do we really need to spend on another study – I wonder.

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