A motion to create a rent stabilization policy passed City Council on May 25 with a vote of 7-5. Mayor Jacob Frey sought to veto the motion but the City Attorney's office said the mayor does not have the authority to veto a motion passed by the City Council.
Ward 10 Councilmember Aisha Chughtai and Ward 6 Councilmember Jamal Osman brought forward the motion at the council meeting. The rent stabilization policy is based on research done by the Center for Regional and Urban Affairs and the Rent Stabilization Work Group established by the City Council. The work group was formed after Minneapolis voters in 2021 voted to allow City Council to enact a rent control ordinance. The rent stabilization policy includes a suggested rent cap and vacancy control.
At the meeting, Chughtai said the policy was open to edits.
“If you dislike components of this policy, let's work together on refining it to make it work for this body or for residents," Chughtai said.
In April, City staff presented the City Council with their own conclusions about a rent stabilization policy reflective of the one proposed by Chughtai and Osman. They are opposed to it.
Barring any immediate vetoes from the mayor, Chughtai and Osman’s proposed motion is on a tight time line to get this policy on the November ballot. The motion’s next step is to go through the Business, Inspections, and Zoning committee for the reading of the motion, editing the language of the policy, holding a public hearing for the policy, and an additional round of editing if needed.
The policy would need to be approved by the City Council at its August 17 to get on the ballot.
During the meeting, City Clerk Casey Carl said the process Chughtai and Osman's motion presents is important in terms of legislative transparency because they are attempting to create a policy in front of the public.
"There's a lot of work that happens behind the scenes. Not visible or accessible to the public. This puts that work in the public's sphere, in the Council chamber, in full view of everyone," Carl said after Chughtai presented the motion.
In Southwest Minneapolis, Chughtai and City Council President and Ward 8 Councilmember Andrea Jenkins voted in favor of the rent stabilization motion.
"We absolutely do need something on the ballot this year so our voters can weigh in on this," Jenkins said about why she was voting in favor of the motion. "Looking forward to the robust discussions we are going to have moving forward."
City Council Vice President and Ward 13 City Councilmember Linea Palmisano and Ward 11 Emily Koski voted against the motion. Ward 7 Councilmember Lisa Goodman was absent but said she would have voted against the motion.
"I don't believe that we should start with these components so I won't be voting for it today," Palmisano said. "I'm supportive of a rent stabilization policy that protects against price gouging and unreasonable and predatory rent increases." Palmisano did not clarify what components she would support within a rent stabilization policy.
Koski did not comment on why she would be voted against the motion.
Council-wide, Osman, Ward 1 Councilmember Elliott Payne, Ward 2 Councilmember Robin Wonsley, Ward 5 Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison, and Ward 9 Councilmember Jason Chavez voted in favor of the motion. Ward 3 Councilmember Michael Rainville, Ward 4 Councilmember LaTrisha Vetaw, and Ward 12 Councilmember Andrew Johnson voted against the motion.