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House bill in Georgia could introduce rent control laws for cities like Valdosta

Bill could allow municipalities in Georgia to limit rent increases by landlords.
Posted at 6:28 PM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 18:28:43-05
  • The average rent in Valdosta has increased by nearly $300 between 2022 to 2023.
  • A new house bill is written to allow cities in Georgia to establish rent control laws if passed.
  • Watch the video to hear from neighbors and our state representative about affordable housing.


Worried about being able to keep up with rising rent? A new house bill may change that.

"It's a lot of money... a lot of money to go to waste."

I'm Malia Thomas in Valdosta, and one of the biggest issues for our neighbors is affordable housing.

I'm checking in see to see how a new bill may be able to help.

Walter Berrian is a renter in Valdosta.

He lives with a sister and cousin.

Right now, his portion of rent is only $275, but he wants to get by on his own.

"I like living on my own, cause I can do what I want to, I can go where I want to, and I can come back when I want to."

When I told him about a house bill being introduced to potentially let cities like Valdosta establish rent control, he wasn't exactly optimistic as he knows similar bills have been brought up and failed.

"Some people will help you all they could, but we got to help ourselves now."

According to Eric Bell, the representative who started the bill, the state is going through a housing crisis.

For Valdosta itself, according to rent, the fair market rent for Valdosta was $833 in 2022. Now, the average rent is $1,100.

"I'm going to tell you like this: it's not a simple bill there's a lot of different components that are involved "

I asked our District 177 House Rep Dexter Sharper about this.

He tells me nearly a quarter of the House are landlords themselves, so there's an uphill battle ahead.

"What is the feasibility of this bill getting passed?"

"With the majority party with a lot of them you know maybe even 20-25% of them owning properties then being landlords then they're going to be looking at the fact that they're going to look at it as hey look you're trying to cap what I can actually charge my tenants to stay in my property."

Tenants like Berrian who are trying to plan a financial future.

"Gotta get bills caught up. I got a cable bill. I got a light bill I pay. I have a water bill to pay."

The Georgia General Assembly will start its session on January 8th and will discuss the fate of this bill and others like it. In Valdosta, I'm Malia Thomas, ABC27.