FACT SHEET: Allow Localities to Enact Rent Stabilization

Friday, January 13th, 2023

Support HB1532 (Delegate Clark)/SB1278 (Senator Boysko) 

Rents are on the rise: 

Average rents in Virginia have increased over 10% in the past year and have risen even more drastically in certain localities. Rents in Henrico, Chesterfield, Spotsylvania, Hampton, Virginia Beach, and Bedford County increased 20%! Such severe increases in rent leads to unnecessary cost burdens on Virginia families, forcing many to instead live in unsafe or overcrowded living conditions.  

The problem is only getting worse as private equity companies are increasingly targeting Virginia as an attractive place to buy up multi-family properties, abruptly raise the rent by 25% or more, and thereby displace families for the sake of a higher profit margin. With rent stabilization, localities will have a tool to mitigate mass evictions and stop the displacement our families are currently facing.  

HB1523/SB1278’s Solution: 

The bills allow localities to adopt rent stabilization ordinances with yearly maximum rent increases equal to the Consumer Price Index for the region. 

  • Rent stabilization (setting a limit on the amount that rent can increase every year) will directly address the issue of rising rents in the Commonwealth. 
  • Rent stabilization in other cities has been proven to prevent the displacement of low-income tenants and have promoted racial diversity within neighborhoods.  
  • Rather than waiting decades for an increase in housing supply to meet the current demand and thereby drive down costs, rent stabilization provides an immediate solution to displacement.  
  • Approximately 200 localities, two states, and Washington D.C. have rent stabilization ordinances to protect their tenants, with many more localities considering similar measures.  

This policy is a balanced approach to support tenants while also incentivizing continued housing construction. If enacted by localities, it would: 

  • Limit annual increases in rent to the amount of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the region. In the years leading up to the pandemic, CPI hovered around 3 percent. As of September 2022, the CPI was 8% nationally. 
  • Exempt new construction of residential units in order to promote continued housing construction. 
  • Exempt mom-and-pop landlords with the expectation that larger landlords have greater financial and administrative capacity to participate in this program. 
  • Allow a reasonable rate of return for landlords so that even with this policy, landlords will be guaranteed a reasonable return on their investment. 

For more information, contact:
Christie Marra | christie@vplc.org | 804-615-8150
Laura Dobbs | laura@vplc.org | 804-955-0470

To see our other fact sheets and take action, visit our Session Action Center here.

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  1. Doris J Phillips says:

    I agree with the concept of this bill. I’m currently fighting to stay in my apt each month. I can’t keep of the rent in VA Beach. All my income is now going to my rent causing me to fall seriously behind on my car loan, student loan etc….

  2. I have been waiting on my appeal for 2 years. I worked for the federal government for 30 years what is the problem

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