Sep 20, 2021 - Real Estate

Rent control and housing fuel Minneapolis mayoral forum debates

A Zoom debate among Minneapolis mayoral candidates, including incumbent Jacob Frey, Sheila Nezhad and Kate Knuth.

(From top, left to right) Moderator Joe Nuñez and candidates Kate Knuth, Jacob Frey and Sheila Nezhad participate in a virtual DFL Lawyers Committee forum last week. Screenshot via Zoom

Minneapolis mayoral forum season is in full swing, and while public safety and police reform are taking up most of the energy and attention, candidates are also weighing in on other big issues that will shape the city's future.

What they're talking about: Affordable housing and rent control have been major topics at recent forums.

  • A ballot measure would give the City Council the power to enact rent control policies, which cap how much landlords can raise rent on their tenants.

Where they stand: There are no policy specifics in the amendment — that would be decided later — but incumbent Mayor Jacob Frey and challengers Kate Knuth, Sheila Nezhad and A.J. Awed all said they support it.

  • Frey stopped short of endorsing rent control, saying he would have to see a policy after it's drafted through the legislative process.

Other hot topics:

  • Nezhad said she wants a municipal shoveling program, which was raised by some a couple years ago when the city cracked down on property owners who didn't clear their sidewalks.
  • Knuth wants to create a college savings plan for every kid in the city.
  • Frey said that under his leadership, Minneapolis spends more per capita on affordable housing than any other city in the nation.
  • Awed said at the LWV forum that he wants to increase taxes on renters of luxury apartments.

Of note: Apartment building landlords already pay property taxes and pass those on to renters.

What's ahead: Make Homes Happen is hosting a virtual mayoral forum on Wednesday at 7pm.


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