Policy Brief: How would the “Reclaim Rent Control” proposals change the District’s rental housing landscape?

November 08, 2020
  • D.C. Policy Center
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Photo/Ted Eytan. Used with permission (Source)

The D.C. Council is now considering at least six separate bills that would amend its rent control law. Among those six,  Bill 23-873, the Rent Stabilization Program Reform and Expansion Amendment Act of 2020, which is based on the various policy proposals from the “Reclaim Rent Control” platform, proposes the most comprehensive and sweeping changes to the District’s rent control laws, including the universe of eligible units, calculation and timing of rent increases including, and various petition processes providers use to raise rents in order to make improvements to their buildings.

In this policy brief, the D.C. Policy Center’s Executive Director Yesim Sayin Taylor examines these potential impacts of the bill on the District’s the rent-controlled stock, rents, property valuations, tax revenue, and the future of the city’s rental housing. Her analysis shows that, over time, the bill would impact a significant number of housing providers in the city, the rents they could charge, the returns they realize, the valuations of their buildings, and consequently the tax revenue the city collects. Current tenants will likely be the immediate beneficiaries of the provisions of this bill. However, the bill’s intended goals–cheaper housing, less displacement, and more equitable housing–will likely be frustrated by how the housing market responds to it.


Read the report online


Download  a PDF version

Read Yesim Sayin Taylor’s testimony (or download a PDF version)

Author

D.C. Policy Center


Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center is a non-partisan research and policy organization committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. Through rigorous research and collaboration, the D.C. Policy Center develops and tests policy ideas, disseminates its findings, and engages in constructive dialogue and debate.

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