For Immediate Release: December 19, 2023
HYATTSVILLE , MD — December 4, the city of Hyattsville passed a rent stabilization bill which caps rent increases at the flat Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate. As efforts to protect residents against unjust rent hikes continue throughout the state of Maryland, more city and county municipalities are looking to pass rent stabilization legislation.
This rent stabilization bill applies to buildings that are 15 years or older and buildings with 5 or more units. Additionally, unregistered units are no longer allowed to make any rent increases and buildings must post a notice in the lobby, mailroom, and any public areas in the complex. This win for the immigrant and working-class community was made possible through the advocacy of CASA members and organizers alongside other housing justice advocates.
CASA member and longtime Hyattsville resident, Maria Hernandez explained why this bill is so important for her. “I am retired. I have lived in this complex for 30 years and my rent is $1,700 a month. That doesn’t include other utility bills or the water bill which is more than $150 dollars. If tenants are late on rent, they charge us 65 dollars a day. It feels like all we do is save money to pay rent,” she said.
For several years, unreasonably high rent prices and unjust evictions have caused displacement and instability for many Maryland residents. Even though rent stabilization legislation has passed in several cities throughout the state, all Marylanders deserve just and affordable housing options.
“Many families often have to choose between rent or other critical necessities,” said CASA member, Jose Caballero. He continued, “Sometimes we can’t even go to the doctors. It’s either the rent or our health. While we choose the rent, that’s a choice we shouldn’t have to make.”
That’s why the passage of this bill is so critical to the residents of Hyattsville. Rent stabilization is a legislative protection that holds landlords accountable. Otherwise, the disturbing trend of skyrocketing rent increases will continue.
“We applaud the Hyattsville city council for taking this momentous vote. This will protect immigrant and working class families who have been seeing surges in rent prices as the city is fast developing. We hope Prince George’s county will follow the lead of Hyattsville and pass a permanent rent stabilization bill soon,” commented Jorge Perez-Benitez, CASA Lead Organizer in Prince George’s County.
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 the working-class: Black, Latino/a/e, Afro-descendent, Indigenous, and Immigrant communities. CASA creates change with its powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members. www.wearecasa.org