The Council Chair’s Rent Stabilization Bill Lacks Critical Protections

LARGO, MARYLAND – As Council Chair Jolene Ivey and other council members present a rent stabilization bill on June 4, 2024, worried renters and organizations in the Prince George’s County Housing Justice Coalition and CASA held a press conference urging for a stronger rent stabilization bill that will safeguard tenants.

After several years of advocacy by the renter-led Prince George’s Housing Justice Coalition, Council Chair Jolene Ivey and other council members will present a permanent rent stabilization bill during today’s 10 am council meeting. Renters take issue with the bill since it excludes critical housing justice elements. Furthermore, the bill also moved forward without coordinating with longstanding advocates or the key legislative champion, Council Member Krystal Oriadha. Tenants will call for the inclusion of critical protections including vacancy control, which will protect tenants from evictions designed to increase rates, a rolling exemption so that new properties, after a lesser number of years, are included in the protections, and several other elements to truly protect tenants. 

“I am disheartened by the lack of transparency and collaboration from some of my colleagues and their intention to bypass the community, and the advocates that have been working for over two years on this legislation to only center the voices of the industry and developers,” said Krystal Oriadha, Prince George’s County Council Member. “My hope is that we move forward with the legislation that centers our residents and also promotes development.”

At a rally in February, renters presented their demands for a permanent and fair rent stabilization in the county: a 3% cap on rent hikes, vacancy control to stop landlords from evicting tenants without just cause, the inclusion of all rental properties in the county, and protections to prevent new and unwarranted fees.

“The good news is that almost the entire council agrees that skyrocketing rents in Prince George’s County is a terrible problem that must be addressed. However, the Prince George’s County Council has a responsibility to protect renters, and this bill must be changed to reflect that,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA Executive Director. “Renters – from seniors to school-aged children – have shared horror stories of double-digits rent increases. We have also seen how renters receive eviction notices because they advocate for housing justice. We are concerned that a successful law must include critical protections to stop these abuses. We look forward to working with the council to amend bill language.”

Among the elements missing from the rent stabilization law is vacancy control: Largo resident Cheryl Cornish faces eviction because of her housing justice advocacy. This could have been prevented with this provision. She shared her story with the council at the February rally, “At my apartment complex we had our rents increased by 10% and mine by 20% despite the 3% law. I became the lead advocate for my complex and contacted CASA for help. All our initial meetings were held in my apartment and I did not stop advocating with management. Eventually in November they realized that they had to follow the 3% but at that point months had passed by. The worst part now is that I am being retaliated against for speaking out and having organized my neighbors. I have been given a 60-day notice because I stood up and fought for my rights… We need FULL vacancy control so that landlords don’t prey on tenants and evict them to increase the rent whatever they want on the next tenant. We need a permanent rent stabilization for everyone in Prince George’s County now!”


With over 155,000 lifetime members across 46 US states, CASA is a national powerhouse organization building power and improving the quality of life in working-class: Black, Latino/a/e, Afro-descendent, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities. CASA creates change with its power building model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members.