The Washington Post: Housing Advocates Push for More Aggressive Rent-Control Measures in DC

The Washington Post, Oct. 2, 2019: Housing Advocates Push For More Aggressive Rent-Control Measures In DC

A coalition of housing advocates launched a campaign Wednesday urging District leaders to adopt more aggressive rent-control measures as lawmakers consider extending the city’s existing law.

The District’s rent-control law, which sets the rate at which rents can be raised by property owners, will lapse Dec. 31, 2020. Last month, all 13 members of the D.C. Council signed on to support an amendment to the 1985 law that would extend it an additional 10 years — to Dec. 31, 2030.

But a coalition of 17 groups that include labor unions, religious congregations and community organizations fears that in a city with some of the highest rates of gentrification and displacement in the nation, extending a 34-year-old law without making substantive changes will fall short of residents’ needs.

About 40% of the District’s lower-income neighborhoods experienced gentrification between 2000 and 2013, according to a National Community Reinvestment Coalition study released earlier this year, giving it the greatest “intensity of gentrification” of any city in the country.

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