NDP makes rent control a campaign promise
The New Democratic Party has been promising it since February, and on Friday it made an official campaign pledge to bring rent control to Saskatchewan if it wins the provincial election.
The announcement is part of the $320 million NDP housing platform, released in Regina Friday morning.
The party says it will introduce something called a "fair rents model" which is based on the price of utilities, property taxes, and other costs associated with residential housing. A news release about the announcement included a graph estimating annual increases under rent control at two per cent annually.
The party says that's much less than the average annual rent increase in Saskatchewan, which has fluctuated between 12.8 per cent and 4.2 per cent in the last three years, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
As well, the NDP says it will make allowances under its rent control plan for new housing and non-corporate landlords, and use incentives to encourage developers to build new units.
The party says rent control will cost the government $200,000 in administrative costs annually.
The largest chunk of cash in its housing platform is dedicated to its promise to invest $216 million in the next four years to build 2,500 new rental units as well as upgrade existing units.
The party is also promising a $2,000 grant to first-time homebuyers, and incentives for private developers building affordable homes.
The Saskatchewan Party has said in the past that it would not be introducing rent control, which it says keeps properties off the market and deters new construction.
Saskatchewan's provincial election is Nov. 7.