Proposed Changes to DC’s Rent Control Laws Will Benefit Tenants

HOUSING | D.C.’s rent control laws could get more restrictive under a new bill proposed this week by  D.C. Council Committee on Housing and Community Development Chair Anita Bonds, who introduced legislation that would cap annual rent increases in D.C.’s 80,000-plus rent-controlled units. (City Paper, 9/20)

First, the bill would limit such hikes to the Consumer Price Index—a measure of inflation—which varies from year to year but is now zero. Under current D.C. law, landlords of rent-controlled buildings can raise rents by 2 percent of a tenant’s payments plus the CPI, up to 10 percent, except for elderly and disabled tenants, whose rent can only be raised by the CPI alone. Second, the legislation would eliminate vacancy increases: When a rent-controlled unit goes vacant today, a landlord can raise the rent on it by 10 percent if there’s no comparable unit on the property—or by 30 percent if there is a comparable unit.

FOOD INSECURITY | Food Lion’s Closure Means Stocked Shelves for Loudoun Food Pantries (Loudoun Now, 9/21)

Related: 2016 Loudoun Hunger Summit “Together at the Table”: Friday, October 14, from 9:30 AM to 2:30 – Co-Hosted by the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties and Loudoun Interfaith Relief.

EDUCATION | Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent announces resignation (WTOP, 9/19)

DISTRICT | The D.C. Council is being asked to pass the Universal Paid Leave Act, that would require employers to provide workers with up to 16 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child, and would be given to employees dealing with a medical condition or caring for a seriously ill loved one. (WTOP, 9/20)

REGION | Columbia has been named the “Best Place to Live” in America by Money magazine – the only Maryland town to make the list of 50. (WBJ, 9/19)

ARTS | The 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards will be held on September 22, where individual artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations and patrons of the arts and humanities will be honored.

NONPROFITS | Increase your nonprofit’s #ROI with these key steps – download the IBM Advanced Analytics ROI Case Study. (NP Quarterly, 9/19)

FOUNDATIONS | The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) and Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI) released a new report on foundation evaluation practices: Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices.

VOLUNTEERING | Civic organizations were built on the voluntary labor of women. As the demands on women’s time increase, communities are suffering. (Atlantic, 9/19)

I have one of these vivid dreams at least once a year – Buffy


One thought on “Proposed Changes to DC’s Rent Control Laws Will Benefit Tenants”

  1. An annual increase of a fraction of one percent naturally appeals to renters and our council members who are eager to get reelected know it. Unfortunately, it will almost inevitably lead to widespread displacement as current renters scramble to find new housing in a much more expensive market. Landlords make their money through increases, particulary on vacancies. It is the only incentive to take on the serious responsibilites and liabilities associated with offering rental housing. Absent that incentive, the only option to make money will be to sell and to reinvest in luxury housing in DC or to simply reinvest elsewhere. Facing the prospect of a severe narrowing of profit margins, many area legacy landlords are following this issue with interest and are poised to sell if it passes. So most of these 80,000 afordable units will either go luxury condo or luxury rental leaving far fewer affordable options in DC. Of course, our council members are happy to let this wildly irresponsible initiative pass before elections despite the devastating risks involved. Shame.

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