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TENAC is a non-profit, public service organization dedicated exclusively to tenant interests, tenant rights, and support for rent control in the District of Columbia. We are the only city-wide tenants organization, and we represent all tenants in the District of Columbia.
As a legal successor to the Tenants' Organizations Political Action Committee (TOPAC), we have been serving tenants for almost 15 years. TENAC's mission is to assist tenants through education, legal information, and lobbying for tenant legislation- especially affordable housing and tenants' rights. TENAC prepares legislative proposals on behalf of tenants, and testifies frequently before the City Council on matters of vital interest to tenants. Of critical importance is TENAC's HOTLINE (202) 288-1921, which answers landlord/tenant questions, and TENAC's role in helping tenants to form tenant associations throughout the city.
TENAC believes that tenants in unorganized rental buildings are open for abuse by landlords, rental agents, and owners. We will not rest until we see a tenants' association in every rental building in the city.
DON'T BELIEVE ABOLISHING RENT CONTROL WILL HELP AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Free Market "Solutions" In the Real World Are False, at least for Housing-
Instead of the panacea touted by developers, real estate moguls, and conservative economists, that the abolition of rent control would solve the affordable housing crisis by increasing demand, let's look at an example from reality instead of the ideal textbook world they always cite. In real life, demand for housing has proven almost inelastic, what no supply curve could come up against to lower exorbitant rents; Examples elsewhere prove it. Boston did away with rent control and it has proven a disaster, forcing thousands of families out of the city! Boston's mayor and many now lament the change, but it is too late. The Apartment and Office Buildings Association (AOBA) then hailed a purported new rent program in Boston called "Rent Plus". Plus what? The family jewels? So, in real life, it would instead make DC an even more unaffordable city; its only benefit, a bonanza to developers, and reduce this town to a demographic catastrophe, ensuring that the District, like other cities across the country, are reduced to bi-polar enclaves, consisting of the very rich and the very poor.
Rip-Off Utility Plan is a Menace to the District
URGENT! FRIDAY DEADLINE! CONTACT THE MAYOR TO REAPPOINT PEOPLE'S COUNSEL SANDRA MATTAVOUS-FRYE, A TRUE CONSUMER ADVOCATE, NOT SOME UTILITY SHILL THE UTILITY COMPANIES WOULD PUSH!
Dear Tenants and Friends,
TENAC NEEDS VOLUNTEERS/INTERNS! DO YOUR PART FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING, TENANTS’ RIGHTS AND RENT CONTROL!
In the next few weeks, we will be gearing up for our fall campaign and council session. We need interns willing first to pitch in with streamlining and updating our email and tech needs. There is much that needs to be done hi-tech, then proceed to the legal/legislative front - - all so we can help advance a fair tenants’ rights agenda, from passing important reform legislation already introduced to helping get Sandra Mattavous-Frye reappointed as People’s Counsel, head of the utility watchdog agency, The Office of the People’s Council (OPC) rather than any utility company shill! To help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Hotline, (202) 288-1921
Joe McCarthy again bestrides America, personified in megamouth Donald Trump. Both gentlemen epitomize the crudest form of bigotry and demagoguery. McCarthy charged bogus communist infiltration all across the U.S. Government, and Trump sees hordes of “rapists” and “murderers” among Latinos crossing our borders. The difference is that Trump is a “bigot with billions,” and that while emotional instability, a symptom of extreme bigotry, appears common to both men, Trump’s extraordinary wealth gives him the potential for a much longer shelf life than McCarthy.
Their struggle has acquired great notoriety locally, and also the support of councilmembers and like-minded organizations. Located at 4th and K Streets, NW - what has now become a hot development frontier, Museum Square has over 300 tenants with the most concentrated number of Asian tenants in and around Chinatown. Developers first attempted to order the tenants out in order to raze the building and build a massive, modern, ultra-plush condo complex, while leaving tenants with no place to go, and in so doing, destroy an entire community of diversity to boot! When their empty threat to get out was seen through, they then feigned compliance with tenants' rights law, offering to sell the building to tenants by naming an impossibly out-of-reach price of one-quarter of a BILLION dollars.
SAVE MUSEUM SQUARE APARTMENTS! LET TENANTS EXERCISE THEIR LEGAL RIGHT TO BUY AND KEEP IT AFFORDABLE! Prevent the break-up of the Asian Community and save the homes where most Chinatown Asians now live! (4th and K Streets, NW)
Developers, in an effort to demolish Museum Square Apts., displacing 325 tenants on vouchers, with no regard for any recourse or place to go, have tried several end-arounds to achieve these goals. The most striking is naming a fantastic purchase price based on future projections of value no real estate broker except Rasputin would dare proffer, all really to deprive tenants of their right to buy their building with such an outlandish price. The courts agreed, and even the city council stepped in to call an absurdity an absurdity. (Click for details) Their efforts, we are sure, will continue without let-up, contemplating the potential of development profits, so we ask your help! Email or phone your councilmember and the Mayor and voice your support.
TENAC Urges: Reappoint People's Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye to Head OPC (Office of the People's Counsel)
Her 3-year tenure is a model of enlightened, effective championing of consumer interests, education and assistance. In a city rapidly becoming unaffordable, she has struck a blow for affordability, recognizing the key role utility rates play in escalating costs and income inequality in the District. She has been effective in getting utility rates that benefit all, not just the utility giants' coffers, and in boldly advocating that tenants be allowed to opt-out of the sham submetering movement afoot in the District.
During the talks that forged the last enacted reform law, real estate interests made an almost successful bid to require means testing for rent control apartments, which would deprive all but the poorest tenants of affordable housing; such a change would continue the District on the pernicious path of making the city one only for the very rich or very poor. But after negotiators heard from TENAC, Councilmember Graham, sponsor of the bill, confided, TENAC has one won a great victory - we've dropped means testing. (For details, click below.)
TENAC Chairman Jim McGrath will appear on Gloria Minott's MetroWatch program, WPFW, 89.3 FM, Pacifica Radio, this coming Monday morning (April 20) at 11:15 AM
Topics will include, affordable housing, homelessness, eviction and the upcoming TENAC Candidates Forum that same day in the evening. Tune in!