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.

Historic Review Board: DROP DEAD to all but Developers! St. Thomas project shows HPRB true colors (click for details)





Appearance before the District's Historic Preservation and Review Board (HPRB) is a daunting experience, unless one is a developer, redeveloper, or just plain sponsor of junky architecture. If one is a public witness espousing neighborhood preservation, it is virtually a waste of time.


Proposed redevelopment of St. Thomas Episcopal Church property at Dupont Circle is a case in point. Nevermind that the hearing began an hour and a half late, or that developers delivered lengthy presentations, followed by Q&A, the first order of business was to cut the 5-minute testimony time for public witnesses to 3 minutes – (about enough time to give name, rank and serial number.)


TENAC Endorsements


Eleanor Holmes Norton – U.S Delegate to Congress


Carol Schwartz - Mayor


Phil Mendelson – Chairman of the D.C. Council



(And BY EXTENSON, TENAC TO ALL D.C. RESIDENTS: VOTE for Dems & progressives who have not forgotten their core constituents in favor of the big boys and developer dollars - A PORTENT FOR ALL DC:The District is rapidly becoming unaffordable and many long-term residents, including the low income, the disabled, the elderly and even middle income earners, are beingpriced out due to escalating rents and overdevelopment. We believe Ernest Johnson will best help preserve and protect affordable housing and tenants rights of all thecandidates running for Ward 1 Council seat.  Why? Well, there are Democrats and progressives, and there are Democrats and progressives; and in this city some progressivesand Democrats have forgotten core values to favor developer dollars.  Even faithful party voters have been allured by the promise of making a fortune by making the Districta city of wall-to-wall luxury condos.  We are notagainst smart, reasonable development.  But bubbles burst and you can get too much of a good thing, especially if itinvolves kicking out your core constituents!


 TENAC will endorse any candidate we feel best for affordable rental housing regardless of party affiliation. In this strongly Democratic town, some District Democrats, while progressive on many issues, often forget traditional party values of help to the low income, elderly, disabled and even middle class when it comes to affordable housing - - primarily due to developer/landlord dollars and influence. Too much of a good thing is not good, especially when you forsake your party’s core values for an intoxicating bandwagon of profits reaped from what seems yet-again, another housing bubble.  

Schwartz Wins Big at TENAC Candidates’ Forum

On Wednesday night, October 15, at the Charles Sumner School, Carol Schwartz won the TENAC Candidates’ Straw Poll handily, with over 50% of the vote, David Catania came in Second with ll %, and Muriel Bowser with 6%.   On the worst weather day of the season, with torrential rain, tornado warnings, and unseasonably warm temperatures, a full house turned out at the Sumner School for this key forum, which represents all those who live in rental housing, or two-thirds of the District’s population. We salute tenants, and urge continued, strong support for the rent control bills introduced by Councilmember Graham and currently under consideration before Muriel Bowser’s committee, especially to repeal the 2% add-on. We strongly urge tenants to call or write their councilmembers and urge their support. Without this, any rent control left may not truly survive the decade.  

More on the Oct. 14th Council Hearing on Rent Control Reform:

COUNCILMEMBERS GRAHAM AND CHEH NAIL IT, BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS, WILL THE COUNCIL HELP PRESERVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING? NOT IF THE RENT ADMINISTRATOR HAS HIS WAY: HE SAYS CONSULT THE LANDLORDS FIRST, SO THEY CAN WRITE RENT REFORM OUT OF EXISTENCE - - BUT THEY ARE THE ONES WHO DID JUST THAT BEFORE: ENACTED THE LAW THAT HELPED DEVASTATE AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND RENT CONTROL - - WITHOUT CONSULTING ANYONE! The Rent Administrator testified that the current rent control reform bills introduced by Councilmember Graham are bad - -for landlords - - because the real estate lobby was not consulted. But WE MUST REMIND EVERYBODY, no one consulted tenant groups or anyone else really, when they forced through the legislation that has devastated much of rent control and the affordable housing stock. They passed it over the objections of the housing committee chairman with a majority taking the issue to the floor by-passing committee.

TENAC Report on Last Wednesday’s Council Hearing on Rent Control Reform Legislation

Landlord Lobbyists Bamboozle Council With Misleading Facts and Figures - - But Look Deeper, City Council (and the Public): Will What is Truly Landlord Greed Win the Council Over teh Public's Need? The overwhelming fact that it’s truly greed, not reasonable need - for profits - driving opposition to rent control reform, was exhibited in landlord testimony before Councilmember Muriel Bowser’s Committee on Economic Development on October 14th. We cannot believe the Council believes the many superficial (if not misleading) statistics offered by the real estate lobby.


Wed. Oct. 15th, from 6:30 to 9 PM at Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, NW (Farragut North). HEAR ABOUT THE TWO PERCENT SOLUTION!  And Attention DC Mayoral and Council Candidates!  Repealing the 2 percent add-on to the annual rent increase formula is the first step towards affordable housing in D.C. The second step is reform of the rent control law strengthening and expanding its coverage. WE SAY TO THE COUNCIL AND CANDIDATES, TAKE THE FIRST STEP! Pass Councilmember Graham's bill for real reform.  Click for details


10/15/2014 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Unfortunately, one candidate running for mayor is the sole bottleneck to needed change.  COME TO THE TENAC CANDIDATES FORUM on Wed., Oct. 15th, from 6:30 - 9 PM at Sumner School, (17th and M Streets, NW) & ask the pols to support real reform! Don't be fooled by the landlord argument some parrot that the extra 2 percent per year is needed to upkeep their buildings & not lose whatever affordable buildings are left. They made a fortune for decades without the extra 2 percent which was added to get passage of initial reform enacted in '07.  All agreed to revisit it if it proved too much of a hardship to tenants...AND IT HAS!  Your rent can double in 10 -11 years due to compounding, instead of simple CPI increases as it always was.  COME TO THE FORUM AND ASK THE CANDIDATES FOR ANSWERS - - AND THE REMEDIES! Click for details


The chart attached shows the pernicious effects of the extra 2 percent per year increase given to landlords - - due to the effects of compounding.  Remember, this is only a chart projecting the effects, but unfortunately THE REALITY IS WORSE than what you see in this theoretical graphic. This writer's rent has gone up nearly 50 PERCENT with 6 increases, meaning a doubling should easily occur in 10 years or increases. Click to see

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