The NDP are introducing a bill that Albertans For Fair Rent say will restrict landlord and property rights.
Bill 202, the Affordable Housing Review Committee Act introduced by NDP MLA Robyn Luff, addresses rent control, security deposits, rent subsidies and rent affordability.
Rent control restricts the amount a landlord can charge a tenant, making charging over a set ceiling price, illegal.
A paper in the Journal of the American Institute for Economic Research states research “consistently and predominantly frowns on rent control” and most economists, regardless of political stripe, seem to agree.
As early as last November, the NDP said they wouldn’t introduce rent controls, instead focussing on building more affordable housing units.
So why the change and what do they think they’ll accomplish with this bill?
Rent control amounts to tenant subsidies granted by landlords. This deters landlords from renting out their properties and investors from building rental properties, which then causes shortages, higher rental prices and a smaller tax base.
The Calgary Residential Association hosts www.albertansforfairrent.com, where you’ll find details and can sign up to show opposition to Bill 202. They say the Alberta government shouldn’t interfere in an already highly regulated property rights issue.
That seems about right, especially considering the state of the economy and the fact that vacancy rates are already up and rents are down.