Alberta NDP proposes rent cap bill, UCP says rent control ‘doesn’t work’

By CityNews Staff

Rental increases in Calgary and the rest of the province have many people struggling to keep up with the cost of living.

Many struggle to find affordable options and face rent increases in existing housing.

“From these stories today and the hundreds of emails we’ve received every month — every week, in fact — from people worried baout how they’re going to keep a roof over their head,” Alberta NDP Housing Critic Janis Irwin said in Calgary Tuesday. “It’s clear we’re in a housing crisis.”

The Alberta NDP introduced Bill 205, the Alberta Housing Protection Act — in the legislature Tuesday.

If passed, the bill would create a two-year temporary rental cap at two percent, followed by a two-year-rental cap tied to inflation.

The bill would also increase reporting requirements to ensure the government is meeting it’s intended housing targets.

Irwin shared details of the bill, along with Calgary renters who shared their stories about personal rental struggles.

“We cannot neglect this crisis any longer and the UCP has refused to show action and leadership,” she said. “They’ve built less affordable housing year after year.

“They’ve made cuts to rental assistance programs and housing management programs and on top of this, they didn’t even name a minister specifically in charge of housing in their cabinet.”

In a statement to CityNews, the Alberta government says it won’t introduce rent control.

“Alberta is focused on increasing the supply of housing across the province,” the statement says, in part.

The province goes on to say that rent control doesn’t work, and instead, the province offers the rental supplement program which supports low income Alberta households.

According to the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights, six provinces in Canada have a rent control policy.

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