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. TENAC says, LOOK DEEPER: landlords fear imminent poverty if faced with not making additional millions on top of the untold millions they already make if we repeal the extra 2% add-on to the yearly rent increase formula. They made a fortune without the extra 2%. To deny that or disinegenuously trot out an example or two of buildings in the red - -an anomaly in this town - - is deceptive at least. However, even given the benefit of the doubt that they actually feel this way, we must observe that’s the way greed works. TOO MUCH AIN’T ENOUGH. THEY MADE A FORTUNE WITHOUT THE EXTRA TWO PERCENT ANNUAL INCREASE FOR DECADES, AND NOW THAT RENTS ARE THROUGH THE ROOF MANY TIMES MORE, NOW FAR TOO MUCH IS NEVER ENOUGH.    In one glaring example, a landlord witness, genuinely horrified, recounted how operating expenses over the past five years rose 40 percent while profits only 25 percent. If his case is typical, a 40 percent rise in thousands of dollars operating expenses compared to a 25 percent rise in millions of profits is based on the false (or convoluted) assumption this is somehow unfair! The figures aren’t equal! There IS some lack of equity - - for tenants! The calamity landlords see, of not making additional millions beyond the scores of millions is really a calamity for renters, who must face losing their homes and leaving D.C. thanks to pernicious laws based on such pernicious comparisons. We are seeing long-term renters, the disabled and elderly and now simply middle income earners, forced out by greed. What about their calamity? PASS COUNCILMEMBER GRAHAM’S REFORM BILLS TO REPEAL THE TWO PERCENT AND STOP AUTOMATIC UNCHALLENGED SNEAK AROUND INCREASES BY THE RENT ADMINISTRATOR! WE URGE YOU TO CALL OR EMAIL COUNCILMEMBERS FOR YOUR OWN WARD AND AT-LARGE MEMBERS and TELL THEM TO SUPPORT GRAHAM'S REFORM BILLS AND STOP THE EVER SPIRALING INCREASES DRIVING OUT EVERYONE BUT THE ONE PERCENT!