North Carolina bill could give officials ability to curb rising rents

A StarNews file photo shows apartment construction in Wilmington, N.C.

A new bill introduced recently in the North Carolina state legislature could give local officials statewide the power to curb rising rents.

In Wilmington, rent hikes have become the norm for many since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic hit, average monthly rent in Wilmington hovered around $1,250. Now, it averages around $1,800, according to data from But it has shown signs of stabilizing.

Rents in North Carolina’s biggest cities have also climbed. While campaigning for the North Carolina Senate last year, Lisa Grafstein said rent was a hot topic with her Raleigh-area constituents. It was hard to have a conversation that didn’t mention affordability, she said.

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