91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Housing advocates rally for rent control and affordability at state capitol

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people gathered at the state Capitol Tuesday to demand rent control and other measures to reduce the cost of rent.

William Walker is a Lansing community activist. He says the rapidly rising cost to rent in many Michigan cities, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, is forcing people out of their homes and apartments.

“It is forcing them out of their communities. It’s breaking up families. It is just devastating,” said Walker.

Here’s a timeline of events from the mid- to late-1980s, when rent control was a hot topic in Michigan.

It’s not just an issue in Lansing. Housing advocates from Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Grand Rapids were among those taking part in the rally and lobbying day at the state Capitol.

State lawmakers plan to introduce legislation this fall to lift restrictions on local communities putting rent control ordinances in place.

The legislation faces opposition from landlord groups.

“We believe that rent control would not do as sponsors intend but actually harm tenants as well as housing providers,” said Erika Farley, with the Rental Property Owners Association of Kent County.

Farley said property owners want to create and maintain accessibility to good housing, and she said the association looks forward to continuing the conversation with lawmakers on how best to do that.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
Related Content