Rent Control Helped Some of Us and Hurt the Rest of Us

Dive deeper into the facts and history

To understand rent control, we must look to Massachusetts.

The housing crisis came to Massachusetts quickly and has been here for a century.

Rent control has been tried and repealed many times here.

The starts and stops of rent control have given us deep understanding of its benefits and costs.

Here, we offer a pictorial and narrative review of the history of rent control in Massachusetts.

This site provides context for debate over the far-reaching effects – many unintended – of rent control policies.

A newspaper clipping with one section superimposed over the rest of the article, confirming Peter Petrillo had a heart attack three days after the board ruled against the family.

Peter Petrillo Died Because of Rent Control.

Peter Petrillo and wife Helen Petrillo bought their home in 1953. The deed shows their newly purchased three-decker sat at the corner of Chestnut Street and Magazine Street. Their new address would be 139 Magazine St. They raised a family and over time became empty nesters. The Petrillos had a…

One marcher holds a sign Stop Giveaway Rents. Another, Peggy Wolynes, holds a sign Housing For the Needy Not the Greedy. Two more stand behind them.

Voters fixed rent control in 1994.

Cambridge enacted increasingly extreme rent control laws. Rent control laws in Cambridge were uniquely harsh.  Cambridge rent control went much further than Boston and Somerville, both of which began decontrolling rentals by 1994.  Rent control prohibited leaving an apartment vacant.  In 1979, Cambridge passed a law that disallowed a buyer…

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