Last week, District 7 Councilwoman Krystal Oriadha (D) successfully passed CB-07, which will cap rent increases to 3% over the next year in an effort to maintain housing affordability for renters amid nationwide inflation and a wind-down in national social programs.
The vote passed with only one “no” vote, coming from At-Large Councilman Mel Franklin (D), who recently introduced a bill that would allow 20% rent increases. Council members Hawkins and Harrison, who have co-sponsored Franklin’s bill, supported Oriadha’s legislation citing widespread community support.
“This bill is an opportunity for us to say loud and clear that renters matter. For too long the message has been that they don’t. Residents are suffering because of rent increases, and rent stabilization creates stability so renters know that they are not going to wake up and their rent is doubled. We want Prince Georgians to have access to affordable, habitable, and fair housing and this bill gets us closer to that goal,” Oriadha said.
Some of the municipal leaders who spoke at the press conference prior to the successful vote were Mount Rainier Mayor Celina Benitez (D), Hyattsville Councilman Danny Schaible (D), Laurel Councilman At Large Martin Mitchell (D), and Bladensburg Councilwoman Jocelyn Route (D).
Kia Jefferson, a Laurel resident who faced an $800 rent increase, also spoke in favor of the bill.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks also expressed appreciation for Oriadha’s leadership in pushing for rent stabilization.
“I want to thank Council member Oriadha for her leadership and compassion. I want to thank her and the other Council members for demonstrating a true understanding of what many of our residents suffer each and every day. This legislation is extremely important to all of us. We refuse to let any Prince Georgian be priced out of their home, that’s what this is about,” Alsobrooks said.
According to a press release by the County Council, a work group on permanent rent control will be established alongside seeking other permanent solutions to address rising rents.
Council Attacks Foreclosure and Eviction
On March 3, Congressman Glenn Ivey (D) and District 5 Councilwoman Jolene Ivey (D) hosted a Foreclosure and Eviction workshop at the First Baptist Church of Highland Park to inform County residents of available resources.Recently elected Sheriff John Carr (D), Josephine Mourning of Prince George’s Southern Christian Leader Conference, and Jessica Quincosa of Prince George’s Community Legal Services were some of the dynamic speakers featured at the event. Representatives from CASA, Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP) Homes, Homefree USA, Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development, and Employ Prince George’s were also on hand to provide information.
Ana Rodríguez, a community organizer with CASA, attended the workshop.
“The county is still helping with rental assistance but only for those people already in eviction proceedings. You must have a court judgment to apply for rental assistance,” she said. “CASA was there to give them the information that the people need to know and make them aware of the rent stabilization law that just passed. A lot of folks were not aware so it is important that they know about this 3% cap. ”
A representative of the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund, noted that “homeownership is the very foundation of generational wealth and we need to make sure we protect that.”
The Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund, the representative explained, is expected to expire in September 2026, or when funds “run out.” Established after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund offers temporary assistance to homeowners who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure. This fund supports mortgage relief, weatherization, housing counseling and legal services for homeowners.
“If you are a homeowner and you are worried about foreclosure, you have to apply for this,” said Councilwoman Ivey during the town hall. She also suggested that constituents go to her website for further information, and that Saturday’s workshop was a bridge for those who don’t have digital access.
K Riadha is the greatest
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