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Landlords Don’t Want the D.C. Council to Extend Its Blanket Eviction Moratorium

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Landlords are fighting a legal battle against D.C.'s ban on eviction filings. A judge will eventually decide whether the moratorium violates their constitutional rights.

D.C. has the strongest tenant protections related to evictions in the region, surpassing even the federal eviction ban, but some local landlords are trying to get lawmakers to water them down.

The current ban on all evictions is the only law standing in the way of mass displacement and homelessness, tenants and their advocates warn. Should it be lifted, those most impacted will be poorer residents who are disproportionately Black and Brown. 

“These programs are undersubscribed at this point,” Polly Donaldson, the director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, said at a recent Council roundtable on evictions. “We anticipated a higher demand.” Donaldson theorizes that the moratorium reduced tenants’ sense of urgency for needing to apply for rental assistance, and questions whether tenants know about all their options. 

City Paper/Amanda Michelle Gomez