Tenants at the Woodner Apartments in northwest D.C. protest evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy photo via Facebook)
Tenants at the Woodner Apartments in northwest D.C. protest evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy photo via Facebook)

The D.C. Council voted Tuesday to extend protections for residents against evictions and rent increases during the coronavirus pandemic — if only temporarily.

The council unanimously passed a bill keeping the protections in place, but the moratorium on evictions for nonpayment would end on Oct. 12, while rent increases would again be permitted after Dec. 31.

The bill, which needs the mayor’s approval, allows landlords to begin issuing notices of nonpayment to tenants immediately after the city’s public health emergency ends, WTOP reported. Council Chair Phil Mendelson said Monday that the emergency won’t be extended past its July 25 expiration date.

However, landlords would be required to notify tenants of the Stay DC program, which provides funding for rent and utilities for qualifying tenants.

The council also approved another bill ratcheting up prohibitions against debt-collection practices. Under the new legislation, collectors couldn’t call a customer more than three times over a seven-day period or share any information about a person’s debt with their employers or family members, WTOP reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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