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New Rent Control Law Won't Affect Harvard; Community Rents Less

By Joyce Heard

No Harvard housing, including housing rented to the community, will be affected by the new Cambridge rent control law which goes into effect on Oct. 17.

The law, passed Sept. 17 by the City Council, will roll back Cambridge rents to their March 1970 levels. Harvard is exempted along with "units in cooperatives and in institutions operated exclusively for charitable or educational purposes."

Last week Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci named a seven-man board representative of tenants, landlords, and neutrals to suggest candidates for the sensitive post of Cambridge rent control administrator. The administrator, who will probably be named before Oct. 17, will enforce the new lower rents and arbitrate individual disputes between landlords and tenants.

State-Wide Law

This year's passage of rent control came about as the result of a state-wide rent control law passed by the General Court in Augus.

The state law provides a ready-made rent control system for any Massachusetts city government that affirms the law. Under the law, rent control goes into effect 30 days after passage by the local government and automatically freezes rents at the level they were six months before passage by the local government.

Other Attempts

Various groups in Cambridge have been working for rent control for the last five years. Last year an attempt to place rent control on the November ballot failed when a Middlesex Superior Court ruled the proposed rent conrol ordinance unconstitutional.

The Cambridge Property Owners Association-longtime opponents of rent control-plans to test the constitutionality of the new law as soon as possible. Carl F. Brown. president of the association. said yesterday that lawyers are already preparing a case although no hearing has as yet been set.

Barron's group may also try to get a temporary restraining order on the rent control law pending the appeal.

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