COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
OFFICE OF COUNCILMEMBER ANITA BONDS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2016
Contact: David Meadows
Councilmember Anita Bonds introduces Sweeping Rent Control Legislation
Will Eliminate the Annual 2% Rent Increase and the 10%-30% Vacancy
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Tuesday, September 20, 2016, Councilmember Anita Bonds, Chairperson of the Housing and Community Development Committee, introduced the “Rental Housing Affordability Stabilization Amendment Act of 2016,” legislation that proposes to eliminate the annual 2% rent increase and the 10%-30% vacancy unit increase for nearly 80,000 units under rent control.
Currently, units under rent control are permitted to have an annual rent increase based on the Consumer Price Index, or CPI-W plus 2%. For most tenants, the maximum amount that their rent can increase is the CPI plus 2 %, but never more than 10 %. For elderly or tenants with a disability, the maximum increase in rent charged is the CPI only, but never more than 5 % overall. The Rental Housing Affordability Stabilization Amendment Act will lower the annual rent increase from CPI+2%, to just CPI, alone.
Today, when a unit becomes vacant, the housing provider can raise the rent by 10 % but not more than 30%. Over the years, vacancy increases have caused significant loss of housing affordability and rent controlled units. The Rental Housing Affordability Stabilization Amendment Act will eliminate the 10% – 30% vacancy increase, and thereby will end one of the fastest escalators of rents in rent controlled housing accommodations.
“The District is in an affordability crisis. Despite 30 plus years of rent control, housing costs in the District are the third highest in the country and these measures will provide stability and comfort to the renter by eliminating excessive rent increases,” stated Councilmember Anita Bonds at the bills introduction.
The bill was co-introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson and Councilmembers Mary Cheh, Elissa Silverman, Brianne Nadeau, and Robert White.