Support for the H.O.M.E. Act and Personal Stories

"Our members are nurses, bus drivers, 911 dispatchers and librarians and more. They keep our County running and help to make it such a great place to raise a family. But despite good union jobs, many of them cannot afford to live in the County that they serve. This bill will give our members, and the residents that we serve, the predictability that they need." 

"Over two-thirds of our educators across our school system do not live in the County, with many being unable to afford to live here. Incredibly, in the richest state in the nation, students have been forced to live in county shelters or out of vehicles because of evictions created by soaring rent prices

"The H.O.M.E. Act is the only legislation that will keep people in their current living situations while simultaneously allowing the county to build deeply affordable housing."

"Whether a childcare provider ensuring kids are prepared for school, an education support professional assisting in the classroom, or a college professor preparing one for a career, a Local 500 member will have a role to play in the development of those in this county. 

"And, yet for many of our members the rising cost of rent is making it so they cannot live in the same county they work. In many cases, just a 5% increase in rent each year results in thousands of additional dollars our working families cannot afford. We ask that this Council support the passage of the HOME Act."

"In 2022 we served 136,234 meals to folks experiencing food insecurity, many of whom also experience housing insecurity. Our organization strongly supports the HOME Act because strong tenant protections are vital to ending and preventing homelessness."

"The top local organizing priority of our DMV chapter is addressing the threat of displacement to low-income African immigrant tenants. Montgomery County is home to tens of thousands of African immigrants. High rent increases, and other expenses related to housing, are the top concerns for households. A typical African immigrant household spends almost half of their income on rent, and most of the time renters must work two, or sometimes three jobs, to make ends meet. Immigrant communities can’t afford or accept increases larger than 3.0% if they want to stay in this county."

"CASA’s legal team is in direct contact with tenants throughout Montgomery County who are struggling to make ends meet. Sudden rent increases have forced many of our members and their families out of their homes with nowhere to turn. As a result, the most common question we are asked is whether an extreme rent increase is legal or not.

"For example, a client from Germantown who had been in her apartment for 14 years sought our services in June of 2022, when she faced a sudden increase to her rent of 7.11%. This client insisted, like many before her, that what happened to her doesn’t feel legal and shouldn’t be. I think her insistence is highly instructive. While rent increases this extreme may be outliers, they should not be allowed to harm our communities by unjustifiably pricing folks out of their basic necessities."

"Our support of low-income residents has given us a window into the struggles that renters in our county continue to face with rapidly rising rents following the end of the COVID emergency rent stabilization measures. Too often, residents need to choose between food, rent, and necessary medications. Reasonable provisions such as those in the HOME Act will be an important support to keeping our widening racial wealth gap in check."

"Jewish sacred texts recognize that having safe, stable housing is critical to a healthy society, and we know that it is key to reducing racial inequities. Every one of our neighbors in Montgomery County deserves the stability needed to put down roots, and with that vision in mind, we urge the Council to support the HOME Act as an important and immediate tool to curb the crisis of evictions, displacement, and homelessness."

"Everyday Canvassing is generally unselective both who we talk with and what we talk about, inviting every community member to share what issues are top of mind. Our thousands of conversations have made it abundantly clear that renters across Montgomery County need and have asked for low, predictable yearly rent increases. We strongly support the HOME Act and its limitations of rent increases to 3% yearly increases maximum."

"While many local landlords follow the Voluntary Rent Guidelines, some do not, placing low-income, working families in situations of extreme uncertainty regarding housing costs. This uncertainty is particularly burdensome for that group of Maryland renters (roughly 26%) who must spend more than half their monthly income on housing costs. Such families cannot afford to be in situations where landlords are continually raising rents well-above annual inflation rates."

"We urge you to follow the leadership of our regional neighbors in Prince George’s and pass the HOME Act, which sets a reasonable rate of increase on rents at 3% that protects essential workers and their families, and prevents price gouging. A higher rate cap will not meaningfully prevent displacement, and may even incentivize rents to go up more quickly than they did before."

"IOESS (International Organisation for Education and Social Services), which serves more than 170 families in Montgomery County, supports the HOME Act. IOESS assists immigrants from many different countries in different parts of Montgomery County and especially Afghans who recently immigrated to the United States. Many immigrants want to live near each other because of their small numbers in the community and for emotional connectedness. However, with large rent increases, many renters are forced to move out of their homes."

"Renters are already being displaced: A large number of residents are already being immediately and severely harmed by rent increases, even those that are 3-15%. About 40% of renter households in the county are cost-burdened, spending more than 35% of their income on housing. In our outreach, renters consistently share that they can hardly afford the rent as it is now, let alone an increase of $75, $100, or more a month."

"According to the Racial Equity and Social Justice Impact Statement for Montgomery County's previous [temporary rent stabilization bill], 'Low-wealth and low-income households have been negatively impacted by the financial burdens associated with the pandemic. These households lacking access to affordable and safe housing, also known as secure housing, are also at greater risk of experiencing evictions and homelessness. Many of these households who are disproportionately Black and Latinx in Montgomery County were at risk for evictions and homelessness prior to the pandemic.'”

"Capping rent increases at 3% will allow many families to continue to work and live in our county instead of being displaced. Displacing these families hurts the entire community. Fewer workers hurt services to county residents. Many of the very people who work in the service industry like hospitality, home health care workers, and retail are the very renters that will be severely impacted by unaffordable rent increases. The passage of this bill will keep families in their homes and working in our county, which ultimately benefits all residents."

"350 Montgomery County is a leader in the climate justice movement in Montgomery County. The connection between stable rents and climate is unequivocal. The most obvious is that affordable housing allows residents to live closer to their jobs, reducing transportation costs and offering employers a more reliable workforce. But as communities across the country are experiencing, the high cost of housing leads directly to an increase in homelessness, creating a on local budgets. Additionally, homeless people are particularly vulnerable to extreme climate events. We urge the Council to pass the HOME Act in its current form."

"Sunrise Movement Silver Spring are the movement of young people that brought the Green New Deal to the national stage. By limiting rent increases in Montgomery County to 3%, this bill will safeguard both the financial health and emotional health of young people in this county by eliminating the downward spiral caused by eviction for thousands of families. It will also open up endless possibilities for expanded transit and green construction without the fear of rising rents and displacement, so that we can be a model for what a just Green New Deal can truly be."

"Black and Latino families disproportionately rent their homes instead of owning them. Because of a shortage of housing, people encounter substantial difficulties in finding and keeping their rental property. Moving is also costly and risky for residents, who have to pay security deposits, move their belongings, and get situated. And when residents are evicted due to their inability to meet rent increases, the results are traumatic, often resulting in people becoming homeless and living on the streets. Eviction harms people’s mental and physical health, hurts their financial wellbeing, hinders their efforts to rise out of poverty, and harms their future attempts to get housing."

"Large rent increases contribute to homelessness (not in the interest of anyone in the County) and effective expulsion from a county where they work because it is too expensive to live there. The increasing commuter burden on such people increases greenhouse gas emissions on the rest of us. Further, low-income and unhoused people bear the greatest risks from impacts caused by climate change, while often facing a disproportionate burden of utility costs. The unpredictability of rent increases has a social impact, making them less resilient to the impacts of climate change. We urge the County Council to support the HOME Act."

"I am Delegate Gabriel Acevero of District 39, which includes the communities of Gaithersburg, Montgomery Village, Washington Grove, Clarksburg, and Germantown, representing one of the most diverse districts in the country. Montgomery County is one of the most expensive communities to live in. Many of our residents are still reeling from the pandemic and they often pay disproportionately higher monthly and annual housing expenses than renters in neighboring counties. Prince George's County Council recently passed rent stabilization package with a cap of 3 percent. I applaud our neighbors and believe that Montgomery County should follow suit and provide much needed protections and relief to families in my district and across our county."

"As a member of the Prince George's County Council, I and my colleagues worked with advocates and stakeholders to pass CB-007, the Rent Stabilization Act, which ensures that landlords cannot increase rent to tenants by more than 3%. We passed this with the support of nine Councilmembers and County Executive Angela Alsobrooks to ensure that Prince Georgians are able to remain in their homes and region for job opportunities, school quality, and cultural diversity.

"Through several Council Bills, we hope to stabilize housing so that it is accessible to all county residents. That is why I am in such strong support for Bill 16-23, as I believe that it will do the same for Montgomery County residents."