Rent control and the campaign for Boston mayor

The Story:

The two candidates to be the next mayor of Boston have held three televised debates:  the second of these was especially contentious, and the center-left candidate, Essaibi George, took the offensive for much of it, pressing the progressive-left candidate, Michelle Wu, on positions George considers confused or wrong-headed.


Hours before the second debate took place, Oct. 19, a new poll showed Wu with a substantial lead. George needed to shake things up. Wu’s strategy, it seemed, was the contrary one: to avoid allowing things to get shaken up. She was content to remain on the defensive parrying criticism.

One issue that divides them is: rent control. The candidate’s positions on this are likely more a matter of symbolism than operational reality, because the municipality has no authority to control rents in the absence of an authorizing bill from the state legislature, which is unlikely any time soon.

The Thing to Know:

George criticized Wu on the issue of the latter’s support of rent control,. George believes any such measure will “impact our mothers, our fathers, our grandparents, those that have built some legacy wealth for their families — the triple deckers, the two families across our city, families will lose their homes.”

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