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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Firearms on display at the Legendary Guns store in Phoenix in 2018. (File photo by Daria Kadovik/Cr...
Neetish Basnet | Cronkite News

Arizona gun sales expected to surge, again, after mass shootings

Gun sales in Arizona have surged in recent years and experts say they could jump again after recent mass shootings.
10 hours ago
A man is in custody after more than 1,200 catalytic converters were recovered from a storage unit i...

Man arrested after 1,200 catalytic converters found in Phoenix storage unit

A man was arrested Thursday after police recovered over 1,200 catalytic converters in a Phoenix storage unit.
10 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park...
Luke Forstner

Valley expert shares lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

People looking to cool off at a lake this Memorial Day weekend are asked to do so safely after a string of drownings.
10 hours ago
VR equipment and a version of the TASER 7 that utilizes VR technology for training, is demonstrated...
Taylor Tasler

Phoenix Police use virtual reality headsets to train for calls in the field

The Phoenix Police Department is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to use virtual reality to provide officers training in the field. 
10 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fan Fusion,  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for May 27-29

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of May 27-29.
10 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...

No Valley freeway closures planned for Memorial Day weekend

Drivers won't have to worry about scheduled closures on metro Phoenix freeways this Memorial Day weekend, ADOT said.
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Have you gotten your booster shot?

Do you remember when you got your last COVID-19 vaccination? If it has been more than five months since you completed your primary vaccination series, it’s time for you to get your booster. You may be eligible even sooner depending which vaccine you received. If you are over the age of 50 and received your […]

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
Arizona experts weigh in on rent control alternatives