Press Release: Councilmember Bonds Leads Discussions On Eviction Reform And Advances Three Pieces Of Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Contact: Emmanuel Brantley

ebrantley@dccouncil.us

(202) 741-0918

COUNCILMEMBER BONDS LEADS DISCUSSION ON EVICTION REFORM AND ADVANCES THREE PIECES OF LEGISLATION   

WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, September 24, At-Large Councilmember and Chairperson of the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Anita Bonds held a public hearing to discuss three bills that are currently before the committee: B22-0809, the Eviction with Dignity Act of 2018, B22-0804, the Housing Conversion and Eviction Clarification Amendment Act of 2018, and B22-0461, the Eviction Prevention Act of 2017.

Joined by her colleagues and fellow committee members At-Large Councilmembers Elissa Silverman and Robert C. White, Jr., Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau, and Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, Sr., Chairperson Bonds received testimony from over 25 public witnesses and engaged each in a series of questions and answers. While many concerns were raised, the conversation was primarily focused on the amount of time that an evicted tenant should be provided to recover their belongings from the rental property and whether the housing provider should be required to store those items, and for how long.

Last year in the District, housing providers filed over 30,000 eviction cases with the overwhelming majority, about 95%, alleging non-payment of rent and approximately 9,600 ending with default judgments. “The real issue,” stated Chairperson Bonds, “is that our government and community need closer collaboration to prevent evictions in our high-rent community.” During the hearing, Chairperson Bonds indicated that these bills would provide residents and housing providers alike with the tools needed to have a fairer and more humane eviction process. “Evictions are merely a symptom of our housing affordability crisis which makes far too many of our residents become rent-burdened and unable to pay their rent,” she continued.

Just before this hearing, Chairperson Bonds also held a Committee mark-up to review B22-0570, the Rental Housing Affordability Re-establishment Amendment Act of 2018, which if passed would prevent rents on units previously occupied by voucher holders from remaining at the higher unsubsidized rates by requiring that they be placed under new rent-control provisions, as well as B22-0326, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission Purchase Cards Amendment Act of 2018, and B22-0348, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission Candidate Proof of Residence Amendment Act of 2018. All three measures received unanimous support and were voted out of Committee.

For more information on the bills mentioned in this release or to follow the Council’s legislative calendar, please visit www.dccouncil.us.

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