By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The 2021 Minneapolis election is nearly here (early voting is available) and voters will encounter three questions that propose amendments to the City Charter. WCCO has what you need to know as you go to the polls.

The last question voters will encounter, City Question 3, asks if the city should give the city council the authority to enact rent control by ordinance.

READ MORE: Supply And Drought Issues Impacting Christmas Tree Prices

Here’s a brief overview of the question and what it means.

Question in full:

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis, with the general nature of the amendments being indicated in the explanatory note below, which is made a part of this ballot?

Explanatory Note: This amendment would: 1. Authorize the City Council to regulate rents on private residential property in the City of Minneapolis by ordinance. 2. Provide that an ordinance regulating rents on private residential property could be enacted in two different and independent ways: a. The City Council may enact the ordinance. b. The City Council may refer the ordinance as a ballot question to be decided by the voters for approval at an election. If more than half of the votes cast on the ballot question are in favor of its adoption, the ordinance would take effect 30 days after the election, or at such other time as provided in the ordinance.

YES ______

NO ______

What would happen if the “Yes” vote wins?

Minneapolis has never had the power to control rent.

If the charter amendment passes, it doesn’t mean that rent control or rent stabilization will be enacted. It simply means that the city council will then have the ability to craft policy on rent control or stabilization.

READ MORE: TSA: Record Numbers Of Travelers For Thanksgiving

Once that policy is created, the city council will then be able to put it before voters in a general election. If passed, the ordinance would take effect “30 days from the date of the election or at such other time as is fixed in the ordinance.”

Charter amendment questions require 51% or more of the votes cast on each question to pass.

What would happen if the “No” vote wins?

The city council would not have the ability to seek authority from voters in a general election to enact rent stabilization.

What is at issue here?

Supporters of rent control say that renters currently have very little control over housing costs, leaving them at the mercy of the market.

City council members who support this amendment say “rents in many parts of our city have increased faster than renters’ incomes, especially for renters of color and renters with the lowest incomes.”

Meanwhile, opponents of rent control say more affordable housing units are needed, not rent control. Many landlords and construction companies are concerned rent control will lead to less investment in housing, fewer construction jobs, and fewer available housing units in both cities.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has said he is not in favor of traditional rent control.

RESOURCES: 

MORE NEWS: Remains Of Missing Woman Found Near Hinckley