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Rent control bill won’t fix the lack of supply

If we want to keep rent under control, then we need more supply

The idea of rent control is likely still a political non-starter in Alberta, but that hasn’t yet discouraged its proponents from trying.

The latest attempt to force the issue comes in the form of Bill 205, tabled last week by the Alberta NDP. The Opposition surely knows that this bill is doomed to fail, but maybe this is just their way of getting the government on the record siding with what the NDP sees as the wrong side of this issue.

However, despite the NDP’s newfound enthusiasm for this idea (if it’s not newfound, then it’s puzzling as to why they ignored this while in government), it’s not at all clear that they’ve landed on the right side of this debate. In fact, there are many ways the NDP’s approach could prove to be counterproductive.

The main thrust of Bill 205 is to impose a cap on rent increases: two per cent for the first two years and then linked to the rate of inflation for the following three years. This would apply to both occupied and vacant units. …[Continue Reading]