A reasoned and evidence-based request from a rental coalition of HAPCO Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Apartment Association, and others, to postpone a hastily-scheduled rent control hearing with City Council has apparently forced a pro rent control group into propaganda mode.

The Philly Rent Control Coalition, a group of tenant advocates and rental owner opponents, issued a press release rife with misstatements, partial truths, and wishful thinking.

City Council rent control proponents Kendra Brooks, Jamie Gauthier, and other councilmembers had quietly scheduled a rent control hearing for February 8th with little public notification.  That is an often-used tactic when dealing with rental owners to give them no time to mount a defense.

Fortunately, Council President Darrell Clarke realized such a rushed hearing would not be in keeping with required Council protocols for notifying the public. and would be unfair and detrimental to HP members who provide the majority of rental housing for low-to-moderate-income tenants.

As the largest advocacy group in Philadelphia representing small, independent Mom and Pop rental property owners, HAPCO Philadelphia has warned City Council for years that rent control will drive even more rental owners out of the affordable housing market.  The pandemic created an exodus of affordable housing rental owners and Darrell Clarke likely realizes Philly can’t afford to lose any more.

To fight the economic dangers of rent control, HP partnered in a rental owners coalition with the Pennsylvania Apartment Association and other organizations.

HAPCO Philadelphia President Greg Wertman says the ongoing partnership with the PAA and rental owners coalition to oppose rent control is just one of many examples of HP advocating for its members at the city, state, and federal levels.

“HP members provide the majority of affordable rental housing in Philly, as well as Housing Choice Voucher properties,” Wertman says.  “City Hall knows the economic plight facing its affordable rental housing owners and Council needed to respond to the concerns of rental owners’ coalition.”

Wertman adds, “I wish the rent control coalition would understand that the people who provide their low-to-moderate-income rental housing are in real financial trouble.  They need to stop being adversarial.  They should partner with us instead.  They can us help find ways to maintain the affordable housing we have and incentivize investors to build more affordable units.”

HAPCO Philadelphia is issuing a press release to the media to lay out the facts that study after study has shown.  Rent control doesn’t work because it makes it financially impossible to stay in the affordable rental housing market.