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Initiative Aims To Put Rent Control On St. Paul's November Ballot

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Rent control in St. Paul is one step closer to getting on the ballot in November.

The initiative, led by Housing Equity Now St. Paul (HENS), would limit most rent increases to 3% a year with certain exceptions for changes to property taxes and major improvements.

HENS cited a recent study by the University of Minnesota, which showed the median rent increases in St. Paul are already less than 3%. They say making it official would protect low-wealth housing, which sometimes sees 5-10% increases or more.

The group dropped off 9,000 signatures - 4,000 more than they needed - on Tuesday to get the proposal on the ballot. They wanted to make clear that the issue goes beyond the numbers and impacts everyday people.

"That's not going to come from the bankers, it's not going to come from the elected who think they know the information or more information, it's not going to come from the investment groups, it's going to come from the people who are the experts of their lives and the lived experiences that they have renting in the city every single day," said Executive Director of the Westside Community Organization Monica Bravo.

Minneapolis is also considering a similar proposal, though the details are still being finalized.

If the proposal in St. Paul passes in November with more than 50% of the vote, it will go into effect in 2022.

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