DC Council Ends 2016 with approval of Anita Bonds Legislation

DC Council Gives Final Approval of Councilmember Anita Bonds’ Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC –On December 20, the Council of the District of Columbia approved final passage of the following legislation authored by At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds.

The “Condominium Owner Bill of Rights Amendment Act of 2016” improves notice requirements before foreclosure sales, which will help direct condominium owners to where they can find help to avoid foreclosure. The bill also establishes a Condominium Association Advisory Council, creates a Condominium Association Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, and requires that the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities be furnished to purchasers of condominiums.

The “Four-unit Rental Housing Tenant Protection Amendment Act of 2016” will close a loophole in the Rental Housing Act of 1985 that harms tenants living in housing that becomes exempt from rent control. The bill prohibits a housing provider from receiving the 4-unit exemption from rent control if the eligibility for the exemption occurs after a transfer of property that is exempt from the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). The bill thereby protects the current rents of tenants and the affordability of their housing.

The “Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016” will provide Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) with greater resources to effectively represent their constituents by permitting Commissions to seek reimbursement from the District government for translation and interpretation services related to ANC meetings and materials, by providing additional FOIA training and support from the Office of Open Government, by establishing an online ANC Portal for publicly viewable information sharing between government agencies and ANCs, and by broadening ANC authority to make neighborhood grants and expenditures for public purposes.

Additionally,

The “First Time Homebuyer Tax Benefit Amendment Act of 2016,” authored by Councilmember Jack Evans and co-introduced by Councilmembers Bonds and Grosso, reduces the deed and recordation tax to a rate of 0.725% for first-time DC resident homebuyers that have a household income of at or below 180% of the area median income (AMI).

The ‘Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act of 2016,” authored by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and co-introduced by Councilmember Bonds, prohibits housing providers from inquiring about prior criminal convictions before extending a conditional housing offer where applicable.

The “Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2015,” authored by Councilmember McDuffie and co-introduced by Councilmember Bonds, prohibits an employer from inquiring about or requiring an applicant to provide information about their credit history where applicable and amends the Human Rights Act of 1977 to include “credit history” as a protected trait.

Councilmember Bonds co-sponsored and voted in favor of the “UDC DREAM Amendment Act of 2015” permits any District resident who graduated from a DC secondary school to pay in-state tuition and receive local financial aid for attendance at any school or campus within the University of the District of Columbia system, regardless of federal immigration status. To receive aid, the resident must have graduated from a secondary school or received an equivalent diploma within the District, and have lived in the District one year prior to the date of their enrollment application

Finally, Councilmember Bonds voted in favor of the “Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016” provides employees in the District with eight weeks of parental leave, six weeks for an ailing family member, and two weeks for personal illness. The leave will be funded through a payroll tax of .62 percent paid by the employer.

All legislation will be sent to Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature and, if approved, forwarded for congressional review.

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