The CoStar report on rising rents north of Boston comes three weeks after two Beacon Hill lawmakers promised to lobby for the return of rent control.
State Reps. Michael Connolly (D-Cambridge) and Nika Elugardo (D-Boston) said they will file legislation that would allow communities to cap rents. But sources tell The Item the proposal is dead on arrival on Beacon Hill.
Voters banned rent control in a 1994 statewide referendum. At the time, Boston, Cambridge and Brookline had such ordinances. Foes and many economists believe that rent control discourages the construction of new housing and investment in existing rental properties. While the three communities that had rent control voted overwhelmingly to keep it, the measure was abolished in a close 51 to 49 percent vote.
Still, housing advocates say tenants are being driven out by the high cost of rents and the government needs to help. Without protection, they say, landlords are free to raise rents in any amount and evict good tenants for no reason.