March 23, 2009
RENT CONTROL
ISSUE BRIEF


ISSUE:
    Rent control is government intervention to establish caps on rents on real property.

BACKGROUND:
    Since 2003, there have been numerous bills introduced that would establish government rent control on manufactured housing throughout the state. The legislation was a result of misunderstanding how rental rates in manufactured home communities are established. Advocates, as represented by the Delaware Manufactured Home Owners Association, believe that these rent increases are punitive, unaffordable and must be controlled by the state. They cite increasing costs with residents on fixed incomes and the inability of these residents to find alternative housing in the county.

DAR POLICY: 
   DAR has a well-established position against rent control on any segment of the housing industry, including manufactured housing. DAR believes that rent control subverts the free market system by removing any profit motivation, which will lead to the eventual removal of this housing alternative from the marketplace. Additionally, DAR believes that once state government allows rent control on manufactured housing, other forms of housing could be subject to the same rational.

IMPACT:
    Rent control ultimately reduces choice, eliminates competition and would destroy what is fast becoming one of the most important affordable housing options remaining in the state. Manufactured housing has become an popular housing alternatives that is attracting a increasingly larger share of the housing market.

STATUS:    During the 2008 session, the only rent control bill introduced was pulled by the sponsor before session ended.