Arizona experts weigh in on rent control alternatives

Mar 10, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 8:44 am

(Photo by Steve Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)...

(Photo by Steve Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

(Photo by Steve Osman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — You’ve probably heard of rent control, which puts a ceiling on how much the price can be increased. It’s an idea that may be on the minds of some Arizonans with the cost of rent rising so sharply over the past few years.

Rent control isn’t found here in Arizona, though, and there’s a legal reason for it.

“The state preempts local rent control and stabilization measures,” Allison Cook-Davis with ASU’s Morrison Institute said.

Even if local municipalities wanted to implement rent control policies to provide security to renters, they’re prohibited from doing so. That old decision by the state legislature came down to the rights of property owners.

“They don’t want to see that kind of control over private enterprises,” ASU real estate Professor Mark Stapp said. “I know there are people who believe that’s a bad policy because of the rapid increase in rents that we’ve seen.”

There are other ways to help out struggling renters that don’t put the burden on landlords.

“The expansion of the federal low-income housing tax credit is important,” Stapp said. “There’s also home funds and CDBG funds and other things.”

ASU’s Morrison Institute also took a look at some alternatives to rent control that could work within Arizona’s laws.

“Alternatives might look like rent subsidies or tax credits for renters,” Cook-Davis suggests. “Or incentives for landlords like a reduction in property taxes to maintain the affordability of their units.”

All of these alternatives would avoid one negative side effect of rent control.

“In some cases, [rent control] has been shown to decrease the rental housing supply,” Cook-Davis said.

Supply can be decreased because owners decide to sell the units instead of renting them at a lower rate. The Morrison Institute’s report found rent control policies in San Francisco led to a decrease in rental supply, which led to all rents rising because of increased demand.

Stapp said regardless of how it’s done, addressing housing costs and making sure people can afford to live in Arizona is necessary for the state to grow and thrive.

“We have to focus on creating a highly desirable, resilient, sustainable place,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The Kaibab National Forest will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning on Friday....

Kaibab National Forest to begin Stage 2 fire restrictions on Friday

The Kaibab National Forest will implement Stage 2 fire restrictions beginning on Friday.

3 hours ago

A motorcyclist died as a result of a three-car crash in Peoria on June 17, 2024. (AP File Photo/Mat...

Motorcyclist dead after 3-car crash in Peoria

A motorcyclist died as a result of a three-car crash in Peoria on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

4 hours ago

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed the 2025 fiscal year budget on June 18, 2024. (Photo by Rebecca Nob...

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signs $16.1 billion budget for 2025 fiscal year

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed the fiscal year 2025 budget Tuesday that erases a $1.4 billion shortfall by curbing spending on higher education and more.

6 hours ago

Republican Cochise County Supervisors Tom Crosby, left, and Peggy Judd, right, face election interf...

Judge rules election interference cases to continue for 2 Arizona county officials

A Maricopa County judge denied motions Tuesday by two Arizona county officials to dismiss their cases on potential election interference from 2022.

8 hours ago

Bash & Pop performs during the last Viva PHX in 2017. The downtown Phoenix music festival is return...

Kevin Stone

Viva PHX, a multivenue music festival in downtown Phoenix, returning after 7-year hiatus

Viva PHX, a multivenue downtown Phoenix music festival, is rising from the ashes in 2024 after a seven-year hiatus.

10 hours ago

File photos of lawyers Boris Epshteyn, left, and Jenna Ellis, who entered not guilty pleas in Arizo...

Associated Press

Last 3 defendants — Epshteyn, Ellis, Lamon — enter pleas in Arizona’s fake elector case

After the last three arraignments on Tuesday, all 18 defendants in the Arizona fake elector case have now pleaded not guilty.

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona experts weigh in on rent control alternatives