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Housing advocates rally for rent control and affordability at State Capitol

people holding signs that read "Rent Control Now" and "The Rent is too damn high!" "Housing is a human right!" on the steps of the 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.

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 Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting. During his two and a half decades in broadcasting, Steve has won numerous awards, including accolades from the Associated Press and Radio and Television News Directors Association. Away from the broadcast booth, Steve is an avid reader and movie fanatic. Q&A
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