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Rental Housing Commission Publishes CPI-W and Rent Caps for Rent Control Year 2022

Monday, March 14, 2022

On February 25, the Rental Housing Commission (RHC) published the 2022 change in the regional consumer price index – urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W). This figure is used to calculate the maximum standard annual rent increase for rental units under rent control. Please see the documents linked below and the RHC’s order.

The 2022 CPI-W will be 4.2% – an increase of 3.2% over the 1.0% CPI for rent control year 2021 (which ends April 30, 2022). The new CPI will apply to standard rent increases that become effective during rent control year 2022 (May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2023).

The following will apply in rent control year 2022:

a. If a rent-controlled unit is occupied by an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability, the maximum standard rent increase will be 4.2% (CPI-W).1 To qualify for this lower rent increase cap, the tenant must have registered his or her elderly or disability status with the Rent Administrator.

b. For all other rent-controlled (non-elderly/without disability) units, the maximum standard rent increase will be 6.2% (CPI-W + 2%).

c. Elderly tenants and tenants with a disability who are registered with the Rent Administrator as lower income are also exempt from rent surcharges due to housing provider petitions that have been approved by the government. To qualify, household income cannot exceed $77,400 for a family of four, plus or minus $7,740 for each additional or fewer person in the household.

1During rent control years in which the SS COLA increase is lower than the CPI-W, the SS COLA is the maximum annual rent adjustment for elderly tenants and tenants with a disability. In rent control year 2022, the SS COLA increase is 5.9%. Therefore, as described herein, the lower CPI-W increase of 4.2% is the maximum increase for elderly tenants and tenants with a disability.