Per Montgomery County: On Tuesday, March 7, Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando, Councilmember Kristin Mink, County Executive Marc Elrich, and community organizations will hold a press conference discussing the introduction of the Housing Opportunity, Mobility, and Equity (HOME) Act.
The HOME Act helps keep renters in their homes by preventing rent gouging, reducing displacement, and creating cost predictability for renters and landlords. The Act sets a limit on the allowable annual rent increase for units to follow the Voluntary Rent Guidelines (VRG) or 3 percent, whichever is lower. The Act would exempt certain buildings from rent increase requirements, including newly constructed units for ten years and units connected to government programs, healthcare facilities, nursing homes, and owner-occupied units. The HOME Act also permits landlords to request a fair return increase, establishes an excise tax on rental units that remain vacant for more than a year, and funds affordable housing acquisitions.
“With our renting population and income inequality both continuing to increase, this is a common sense measure to provide stability and consistency for everybody, our renters, landlords and developers,” said Councilmember Jawando. “We need more housing and renter protections and can accomplish both. While we’ve made progress, too many renters are facing potential displacement or eviction as a result of exorbitant rent increases.”
“Renters in Montgomery County face enormous uncertainty in their housing costs. Temporary rent stabilization protections expired last August, and the number of evictions scheduled here have increased tenfold since this time last year,” said Councilmember Mink. “We’re now averaging well over 300 evictions scheduled every month, compared to 35 last February. The HOME Act directly addresses this crisis by providing predictability in housing costs for renters, with a cap that’s in line with regional standards as well as long-standing standards set by Montgomery County, all while ensuring landlords maintain fair returns on their investments.”
“Over the last year, we have received reports of rents around Montgomery County increasing in excess of 10 and 15 percent per month – that is not affordable,” said County Executive Elrich. “Ultimately, rent stabilization is about stable homes, stable communities and equity. This bill gives renters protection from unnecessary rent increases awhile ensuring that property owners are able to maintain their property and continue to earn a profit. It is absolutely the right thing to do. I want to thank Councilmember Jawando and Councilmember Mink for sponsoring this legislation. I support this bill, will advocate for its passage, and look forward to signing it into law.”
Community advocates and organizations will join Councilmembers Jawando and Mink and County Executive Elrich to provide remarks on the bill and take questions from the press.
WHO: Councilmember Will Jawando
Councilmember Kristin Mink
County Executive Marc Elrich
Community Advocates and Organizations
WHEN: Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 12 p.m.
WHERE: Steps of the Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD
Members of the media are welcome and must RSVP to Councilmember Jawando’s Communications Director, Morgan Wright, at Morgan.Wright@montgomerycountymd.gov.
Press are encouraged to contact both Councilmember Jawando’s and Councilmember Mink’s offices (email@example.com) for comment before the press conference.