Rent stabilization bill has been passed by Montgomery Council on Tuesday evening
Rent stabilization will be permanent in Montgomery County.
After hours of debate, the county council enacted measures to limit rent increases 7-4 on Tuesday. Annual rent increases will be limited to 3% plus inflation, to be capped at 6%.
The measure failed 7-4 with votes against it coming from council members Gabe Albornoz (D-At-large), Andrew Friedson (D-Dist. 1), Marilyn Balcombe (D-Dist. 2), and Dawn Luedtke (D-Dist. 7).
“We’d be naive to think that this won’t have a significant impact on the county’s future growth potential and will have a cascading negative effect for generations.” “We’re playing with fire,” Albornoz explained.
The council debated the rent stabilization and its measures for more than six hours, focusing primarily on the 14 modifications proposed.
While some revisions dealt with technical wording and were quickly and unanimously approved, others were more contentious and sparked heated debate among council members.
The council voted against an amendment that would have raised the rent increase cap from 6% to 9%. The council also approved an amendment that limits how much landlords may raise tenant costs.
MoCo Council continues to deliberate on rent stabilization
2:57 p.m. The Montgomery County Council members’ day is shaping up to be a long one as they negotiate rent stabilization proposals and revisions. The conference about rent stabilization began at 9:15 a.m. including a 30-minute lunch break, and was still going on at 2:30 p.m.
While there were initially two competing measures, council members are seeking to reach an agreement on Bill 15-23. Council President Evan Glass (D-At-large) described the proposal as “a balancing act.”
The two proposals aim to limit the amount of rent that a landlord can raise. Two of the 11 council members were the initial sponsors of the HOME Act, and six were the original sponsors of bills 15-23. A bill requires at least six votes to pass, and some council members have been switching sponsorships based on revisions.
In the morning, four of the fourteen amendments of rent stabilization were debated. The council voted against an idea that would have raised the hard limit on rent increases from 6% to 9%. The council also approved an amendment that limits how much landlords may raise tenant costs.
Protestors rally outside the County Council to demand the passing of rent stabilization
Rent stabilization supporters gathered outside the Montgomery County Council headquarters in Rockville early Tuesday morning, hours before councilmembers were set to consider and vote on rent stabilization legislation.
Two initiatives are being debated at the council that aims to limit how much landlords may raise the rent in an effort to make homes more affordable for tenants across the county. Around 50 people from diverse advocacy, labor, business, community service, and church organizations demonstrated their support for rent stabilization and housing as a human right.
Protesters chanted in Spanish on the steps of the County Council office, “Tener un techo es un derecho!” which translates to “Having a roof is a right!”