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  • Writer's pictureCLPA Policy Staff

Emergency Rent Control: DC Council to Debate Crucial Amendment

Updated: Jun 4, 2023

Though initially scheduled for this week, the DC Council did not consider B25-0293 - Rent Stabilized Housing Inflation Protection Temporary Amendment Act of 2023. However, the Council will hear this legislation at the next Legislative Meeting on June 6th.

B25-0293 is an emergency amendment to the Rental Housing Act of 1985, the District's central law for rent control. The Rental Housing Act of 1985 covers all District rental homes and protects against tenant eviction. Title II of the law focuses on rent stabilization, which keeps rents from increasing too much for non-exempt apartments. DC's Rental Accommodations Division (RAD) is in charge of managing the implementation of the law. Every rental unit in the District must be registered with RAD and need to state whether the unit is under rent control or not. Units are automatically considered under rent control if not registered with RAD.

This emergency amendment seeks to temporarily limit rent increases in rent-stabilized units in the District for two years. B25-0293 sets a limit on just how much rent can increase. Rent can increase by a maximum of 6.9% or by another measure, called the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), plus an extra 2% - whichever of these two amounts is lower.

Councilmembers Lewis George, Parker, and Nadeau offered an amendment to B25-0293. It aims to ensure that rent for elderly or disabled tenants, and those with community-based service waivers, will not go up more than 8% during the two years B25-0294 is in effect. For everyone else living in rent-controlled apartments, rent will not go up more than 10% above what they were paying on April 30th, 2023.

The Councilmember's rationale for the amendment is to assist tenants, particularly those with steady incomes, in managing escalating costs. They note that rent increases from 2022 to 2025 will still be the most significant in over ten years. They believe this approach balances landlords' and tenants' financial necessities.

If enacted, B25-0293 would remain in effect for 90 days. Councilmember White introduced this bill. If there are any questions about the bill or process, please contact his office for more information.



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