BOSTON (CBS) — Supporters calling for the return of rent control made their voices heard at the State House Tuesday.
“We have to share a portion like there are sacrifices we need to make,” Stephany Villatoro of Chelsea. She said it’s a struggle each month for her family to make rent. “We still make it somehow. I don’t know how, it’s a blessing.”
Villatoro was among the many speaking in favor of a bill during a hearing before the Joint Committee on Housing. The proposed legislation could allow for rent control.
Rep. Mike Connolly, who is a renter himself, is the bill’s co-sponsor.
“It’s a very flexible bill that would put different tools whether it’s rent regulation or condominium conversion protections into the hands of municipalities to really have that debate on the local level,” said Connolly.
Massachusetts hasn’t had rent control since the mid-90s.
“Rent control at this time is not the way to go,” said Greg Vasil of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. He testified in opposition to the bill, saying rent control will hurt the production of more housing.
“We need more units. We need more things to be built here and we struggle because the cost of construction is so high and that alone is an impediment,” said Vasil.
The Joint Committee on Housing has until Feb. 5 to determine the next steps for the bill.