State Capitol

Marathon Debate Over Rent Cap Bill

NBC Universal, Inc.

A marathon debate stretched late into the night Tuesday in Hartford.

People weighed in on whether the state should cap rent hikes each year.

Housing advocates think something needs to be done with evictions up and rents increasing on average 20% in the past two years. But some have concerns with the ideas being talked about.

Some tenants are facing skyrocketing rents.

“Especially with the conditions we live in, it’s just not fair,” said Dave Cruz-Bustamante of New Haven.

Now, there’s a push to cap yearly rent increases in Connecticut.

“It will be a huge relief. I’m always afraid we’re going to get priced out of our home, right? I’ve lived in New Haven my entire life,” Cruz-Bustamante said.

At a legislative public hearing Tuesday, renters and their supporters spoke in favor of House Bill 6588 which concerns rent stabilization.

It would cap the annual rent hikes at four percent.

“Capping the rents is a hard way to solve the problem when you don’t cap all the other expenses that go along with it,” said John Souza, CT Coalition of Property Owners president.

Landlords say they are facing rising prices from taxes to energy to construction costs.

Some worry a cap could also hurt the housing market.

“Effectively if you start to cap rents what’s going to happen is you’re going to give landlords less of a reason to operate and exist in the state and you’ll have an even larger housing shortage,” Sen. Rob Sampson (R – Wolcott) said.

Under the bill, landlords would also not be allowed to increase the cost during the first year of the rental and then after would need to give 90 days notice of a hike.

Some advocates are pushing for an even lower cap of three percent and say a cap has worked well in other states and hundreds of communities.

“It’s been shown to give tenants security, to moderate rent increases without harming the overall housing market,” said Sarah White, Connecticut Fair Housing Center attorney.

Advocates are also looking for stronger eviction protections for people who are following the rules, but being forced out.

Contact Us