Alberta's housing minister is promising to do something about landlords who gouge tenants with huge rent increases —but it won't be rent controls.

The provincial government rejected the idea of capping increases last month, and Ray Danyluk declared the issue "dead" Saturday after provincial Progressive Conservative party members voted against the idea.

A task force of provincial politicians,councillors and representatives of industry and the non-profit sector in April recommended capping rent increases at the rate of inflationplus two per cent.

But the government has a different focus, Danyluk said.

It has been "very much been in the development side, trying to address the people in need, trying to address the people with affordable housing needs and I think that's how we need to tackle the situation," he said.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of instances where tenants have been notified of huge rent increases, leading a small group of protesters to demand rent controls last week.

But Danyluk insisted most landlords are responsible and are keeping their increases reasonable. He said he plans to try to come up with a way to prevent rent gouging.

The government has introduced new rules preventing landlords from raising rents more than once a year,and hascommitted $285 million to affordable housing and help for renters.

The boom in Alberta increased the population by 100,000in 2006,driving up rents and house prices.

With files from the Canadian Press