Elrich, Community Advocates Join Councilmembers in Support of Rent Legislation

Two councilmembers aim to stabilize rents in Montgomery County with a new bill that would cap allowable increases at 3%.

Bill 16-23 — the Housing Opportunity, Mobility, and Equity (HOME) Act — limits allowable annual rent increases to 3% or the Voluntary Rent Guidelines (VRG), whichever is lower. Newly-constructed units would be exempt for 10 years and landlords would be permitted to request a “fair return increase,” per council documents.

Councilmembers Will Jawando and Kristin Mink are lead sponsors. County Executive Marc Elrich joined them in support of the bill during a press conference Tuesday.

Advocates from CASA, the Renters Alliance, the Montgomery County Education Association, SEIU Local 500 and UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO also joined in support.

Also Tuesday, a separate housing bill was introduced by other councilmembers. 

Bill 15-23 would create a maximum allowable rent increase of 8% plus the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the area. Lead sponsors are Councilmembers Gabe Albornoz, Marilyn Balcombe, Natali Fani-González, Andrew Friedson, Sidney Katz, and Dawn Luedtke. 

Elrich said he would veto that bill if it passes as is. Speakers on Tuesday expressed concern about the legislation, noting the higher allowable increase. 

Public hearings for both bills are scheduled for March 28.

Plus, the council on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution calling on the governor and General Assembly to allocate $175 million in the FY24 budget to help Maryland families avoid eviction.

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