The D.C. Council unanimously passed an emergency bill Tuesday capping many new rent increases at 6% starting July 1, bookmarking lawmakers’ frantic volley this spring to legislate around historic increases in rent prices.
The rate cap applies to rent-stabilized apartments – most multifamily buildings constructed before 1976 – and includes a provision that also prevents property owners from raising prices by more than 12% over two years. Seniors will see more aggressive protections, with new rent increases capped at 4% this year and 8% total over the next two years. While D.C. does not have an accurate count of the number of rent-stabilized apartments in the city, the figure could be as high as 70,000-80,000.
Spearheaded by At-Large Councilmember Robert White with significant input by Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George and Ward 3 Councilmember Matt Frumin, the cap is meant to blunt the impact of a sharp spike in allowable rent increases authorized this year under the city’s rent stabilization law.