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Rent Control: Vote Tomorrow, Public Hearing Tonight

College Park City Hall

After much discussion and debate on the rent control ordinance, the Council will finally take up the subject for a vote at tomorrow’s regular Council meeting.

The Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which caps rents in single-family homes around the City. The Rent Stabilization law was passed in 2005 and extended in 2009 for a number of purposes, including reducing the incentive for landlords to purchase previously owner-occupied homes as investments and turn them into rental properties.

The ordinance was the subject of litigation for a number of years before it was upheld by the Maryland Court of Appeals, and the City only began enforcement of the ordinance last year. There has been a great deal of discussion of the rent stabilization ordinance over the past couple of months, and different groups and individual Councilmembers have been meeting with the Prince George’s Property Owners Association to discuss alternatives to rent stabilization.

The Council will be considering, in addition to a ordinance extending rent stabilization for another five years, a resolution to suspend enforcement of the ordinance for one year. The idea in passing a moratorium on enforcement is that this would give the City, the Property Owners’ Association, and other stakeholders, such as the University, students and residents, the opportunity to discuss some of the proposals that have been brought up and try some of them out over the next year. At the end of the year, if a majority of the Council feels that these have been successful or feels otherwise that rent stabilization should be discontinued, the Council can vote to do so or could vote to extend the moratorium on enforcement.

There will be a PUBLIC HEARING tonight, at 7:00 pm at City Hall to hear public input on two things: 1) the Rent Stabilization Ordinance itself, and 2) the resolution for a year-long moratorium on enforcement. Thanks to those of you who came out to the public forum last week on rent stabilization, it was a good discussion and we appreciate those of you who took the time to come out and discuss the ordinance with us. Please let us know if you have any questions.

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