This week’s Q&A column, sponsored and written by McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria, is a bit of a departure from our usual format. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact us at 703-549-9292. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.
Question: What is the Blueprint for a Renter Bill of Rights? New federal guidelines aim to bring fairness to the rental market.
Answer: It has been a tense few years for renters and landlords, with rising housing costs due to shrinking inventory and inflation running headlong into the Covid-19 pandemic and federal and local moratoriums that prohibited landlords from evicting tenants.
Adding complicating factors like the rise of short-term rentals such as AirBnB and VRBO, and private equity investors — many from outside of the United States — who are buying up starter homes, apartment buildings and the land beneath trailer parks, the roughly 35 percent of population — approximately 44 million people — navigating the U.S. rental market may feel like it’s the Wild, Wild West with few places to turn for help.
Enter the White House’s Blueprint for a Renter Bill of Rights.
Released on January 25, 2023, this policy paper areas that the Biden Administration wants to see implemented at state and local levels to follow the lead of “the new commitments by federal agencies to advance a stronger, more equitable rental market.” Included in the new Blueprint is the Resident-Centered Housing Challenge, which seeks input from stakeholders and community leaders and “encourages states, local, Tribal, and territorial governments to enhance existing policies and develop new ones that promote fairness and transparency in the rental market.”
These are not new laws but instead are a set of principles that the White House and participating agencies — including the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Defense (involved on behalf of military personnel) and Department of Justice — say will “support the development of policies and practices that promote fairness for Americans living in rental housing.”
According to the White House announcement, the Blueprint “sets out five common-sense principles that create a shared baseline for fairness for renters in the housing market,” including access for renters to:
- Safe, Quality, Accessible, and Affordable Housing
- Clear and Fair Leases: Lease with defined rental terms, rights, and responsibilities
- Education, Enforcement, and Enhancement of Renter Rights: Federal, state, and local governments should do all they can to ensure renters know their rights and to protect renters from unlawful discrimination and exclusion.
- The Right to Organize: Renters should have the freedom to organize without obstruction or harassment from their housing provider or property manager.
- Eviction Prevention, Diversion, and Relief: Renters should be able to access resources that help them avoid eviction, ensure the legal process during an eviction proceeding is fair, and avoid future housing instability.
However, without judicial consequences behind this effort, what the Blueprint means for the local Washington-Metro market is still to be worked out. But rising eviction rates in all jurisdictions makes this an issue that local leaders are being pressed to address.
For more information about rental assistance in a specific local area, please visit these resources for additional information:
- Virginia State Rental Assistance Program
- City of Alexandria, Office of Housing
- Arlington County Housing Assistance
- Fairfax County Housing and Community Development
- Loudoun County Health & Human Services, Rent & Mortgage Assistance
- Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development
- Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services – Emergency Eviction Prevention
- Prince George’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (currently closed to new applications)
If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.
McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria
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Monarch Montessori School located in the heart of Del Ray is enrolling children 6 weeks to 6 years of age for our half day and full day program.
Our hours of operation are 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday-Friday. Monarch Montessori School is open year round, with intermittent breaks.
Children engage in self-directed, self-initiated activities under the guidance of a trained Montessori teacher. Classroom sizes range from 8-12 students. Our robust curriculum includes botany, sensorial activities, the social graces, culture, math, science, practical life, geography, music appreciation and language arts.
You’ll get half off of the registration fee when you register and begin care with us before April 30, 2023.
EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.
The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.
Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.
Del Ray Dog Fest & Yappy Hour
The 1st Annual Del Ray Dog Fest is a fun outdoor event that will include dog-centered activities, dog menu items, live music, vendors and food on Sunday, April 2 from 11am- 3pm at the George Washington Middle School parking lot.