Legislative Update: January 26, 2022

The 2022 legislative session convened earlier this month. The City of Boise is tracking House Bill 442 (HB 442), which aims to prevent local governments from regulating the rental market through ordinances or resolutions in order to serve the best interests of tenants and landlords. If passed, the bill would prohibit local officials from enacting reasonable measures on rental fees, including application fees and security deposits. At a time when affordable housing for renters is a key priority in many communities, this bill serves to undermine reasonable protections that ensure renters have access to housing while balancing the economic interests of landlords and property owners. 

In 2019, the Boise City Council adopted an ordinance that outlines application criteria for rentals, requirements for property owners, a set amount for rental fees, rules for current tenants, and potential fines. Taken in total, these criteria were aimed at creating greater transparency in the assessment and processing of rental application fees, as well as helping renters better manage the fees associated with rental applications. The ordinance process occurred over a several-month period and included input from renters, landlords, property managers and property owners through two council work sessions, individual stakeholder meetings, and a well-attended public hearing.  

We know that housing continues to be a top concern for residents in our community, and the data backs up the input we’ve heard from Boiseans. A 2021 Housing Needs Analysis conducted by a third party found that 67-percent of renters cannot afford the units the market is producing. The current average rent is over $1,400 in the city for an average 881 square foot apartment. Rent has increased over 20-percent in the last year (while wages only increased 8-percent) with Boise facing the highest rental rate increase in the country.  

This City of Boise opposes House Bill 442 (HB 442). We know that in this competitive housing market, local housing ordinances ensure renters have equitable access to housing that is affordable and allows landlords to navigate a clear process for reviewing tenant applications.  

Residents can follow the full progress of the bill here: HB 442 

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