TENAC is a non-profit, public service organization dedicated exclusively to tenant interests, tenant rights, and support for rent control in the District of Columbia. We are the only city-wide tenants organization, and we represent all tenants in the District of Columbia.

As a legal successor to the Tenants' Organizations Political Action Committee (TOPAC), we have been serving tenants for almost 15 years. TENAC's mission is to assist tenants through education, legal information, and lobbying for tenant legislation- especially affordable housing and tenants' rights. TENAC prepares legislative proposals on behalf of tenants, and testifies frequently before the City Council on matters of vital interest to tenants. Of critical importance is TENAC's HOTLINE (202) 288-1921, which answers landlord/tenant questions, and TENAC's role in helping tenants to form tenant associations throughout the city.

TENAC believes that tenants in unorganized rental buildings are open for abuse by landlords, rental agents, and owners. We will not rest until we see a tenants' association in every rental building in the city.


 Their struggle has acquired great notoriety locally, and also the support of councilmembers and like-minded organizations. Located at 4th and K Streets, NW - what has now become a hot development frontier, Museum Square has over 300 tenants with the most concentrated number of Asian tenants in and around Chinatown. Developers first attempted to order the tenants out in order to raze the building and build a massive, modern, ultra-plush condo complex, while leaving tenants with no place to go, and in so doing, destroy an entire community of diversity to boot! When their empty threat to get out was seen through, they then feigned compliance with tenants' rights law, offering to sell the building to tenants by naming an impossibly out-of-reach price of one-quarter of a BILLION dollars. 

SAVE MUSEUM SQUARE APARTMENTS! LET TENANTS EXERCISE THEIR LEGAL RIGHT TO BUY AND KEEP IT AFFORDABLE! Prevent the break-up of the Asian Community and save the homes where most Chinatown Asians now live! (4th and K Streets, NW)

Developers, in an effort to demolish Museum Square Apts., displacing 325 tenants on vouchers, with no regard for any recourse or place to go, have tried several end-arounds to achieve these goals.  The most striking is naming a fantastic purchase price based on future projections of value no real estate broker except Rasputin would dare proffer, all really to deprive tenants of their right to buy their building with such an outlandish price. The courts agreed, and even the city council stepped in to call an absurdity an absurdity. (Click for details) Their efforts, we are sure, will continue without let-up, contemplating the potential of development profits, so we ask your help! Email or phone your councilmember and the Mayor and voice your support.

TENAC Urges: Reappoint People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye to Head OPC (Office of the People's Counsel)

 Her 3-year tenure is a model of enlightened, effective championing of consumer interests, education and assistance.  In a city rapidly becoming unaffordable, she has struck a blow for affordability, recognizing the key role utility rates play in escalating costs and income inequality in the District.  She has been effective in getting utility rates that benefit all, not just the utility giants' coffers, and in boldly advocating that tenants be allowed to opt-out of the sham submetering movement afoot in the District.

Help TENAC Help! We Defeated Means Testing for Rent Control:

During the talks that forged the last enacted reform law, real estate interests made an almost successful bid to require means testing for rent control apartments, which would deprive all but the poorest tenants of affordable housing; such a change would continue the District on the pernicious path of making the city one only for the very rich or very poor. But after negotiators heard from TENAC, Councilmember Graham, sponsor of the bill, confided, TENAC has one won a great victory - we've dropped means testing.  (For details, click below.)

TENAC Chairman Jim McGrath will appear on Gloria Minott's MetroWatch program, WPFW, 89.3 FM, Pacifica Radio, this coming Monday morning (April 20) at 11:15 AM

Topics will include, affordable housing, homelessness, eviction and the upcoming TENAC Candidates Forum that same day in the evening. Tune in!


– A mistake? An error? We don’t think so. Jonetta Rose Barras reports that hidden deep within proposed legislation was an attempt to take away OTA’s independence as an agency. See her article at http://jonettarosebarras.com/?p=3801

The mayor’s office said this was an error, mistake. If it slipped by, it would make OTA’s employees subject to serving at the pleasure of the mayor, meaning removable at any time, for any reason. We saw this movie when Fenty fired a good Rent Administrator (one actually handing down fair decisions not loophole-developer- devised convoluted wins). Because developers couldn’t devour her in court they went through the back door via the mayor and got her fired. All to destroy tenants’ rights and affordable housing for profit, gain, and greed. Stay tuned for more. The TENAC Candidates Forum is Monday, Apr. 20 at Sumner School, 17th and M Streets, NW from 6:30 – 9 PM, Come find out about this and more, and Ask the Candidates for Answers! www.tenac.org

TENAC ANNOUNCES CANDIDATES FORUM - April 20, 2015, 6:30 to 9 PM, at Sumner School, 17th & M Streets NW - FOR THE APRIL 28 SPECIAL ELECTION FOR D.C. COUNCIL- TOPIC: Affordable Housing - ALL INVITED! Click for details

TENAC (D.C. Tenants' Advocacy Coalition) CANDIDATES FORUM

Care about Skyrocketing Rents?

Stronger Rent Control?

Care about Tenants’ Rights?

Condo Conversions?

Care about Submetering and Other New Charges?

+If you are a tenant, you should! TENAC Says: 10-Year Extension of Rent Control is NOT Enough! Two Percent PLUS Cost of Living Increase is TOO MUCH!

D.C. Is Rapidly Becoming UNAFFORDABLE TENAC Candidates Forum for the April 28 D.C. Special Election

Monday, April 20, 2015 - 6:30-9:00 pm Sumner School, corner, 17th & M St., NW (Farragut North Metro red line station) Ask the Candidates for answers!

(We strongly urge you to attend and bring a neighbor. The future of affordable housing hangs in the balance! Please post enclosed flyer where preferable)


Due to circumstances beyond our control, i.e., money, we have had to suspend the TENAC Hotline connection. We are working on a less expensive alternative, and expect to have it reinstated soon.

The Hotline has been an invaluable service to the tenant community in the District. We have answered tens of thousands of tenant inquiries and problems over the years and we regret its interruption. In the interim, our email address, tenacdc@yahoo.com continues to do yeoman service in that regard. More later! Stay tuned!


TENAC Pledges to Work with Newly Elected Mayor Bowser




November 14, 2014


Hon. Muriel Bowser

Council of the District of Columbia

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20004


Dear Councilmember Bowser:


Congratulations on your decisive victory as Mayor-elect for the District of Columbia. The size of your win clearly gives you a mandate to govern, and on behalf of tenants in the District, we wish you well in the years ahead.


It is no secret that you were not our candidate for mayor. Notwithstanding, we pledge our support to your administration, taking heart from your assurances to work with all sectors of the city. We hope that our legislative agenda will have your support, notably provisions to improve rent control, and measures to stem the sky-rocketing rents and other relentlessly upward economic indices, which threaten to make the District even more unaffordable than it already is.


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