LARGO, MD – Facing a rent stabilization law that expires in April, tenants organized by CASA hold a press conference to share their rent hike stories and their demands for a permanent, fair housing law in Prince George’s County. After emergency protections ended in the state of Maryland there was an uptick in Black and brown working-class Prince Georgians receiving outrageous rent increases of anywhere from $100-$800. Devastating increases that left families without a choice but to turn to the county council for a solution. The county council passed a temporary 3% rent cap that went into effect April 2023 until April 2024. As the clock winds down Prince George’s County residents rally to demand a permanent bill that has community input. For more information, visit

“Unfortunately my rent was increased by $300. An absolute heinous act by our landlord. The increase did not only happen to me but it also happened to the rest of my neighbors. We saw increases anywhere from $100 - $300. How can they do this to us? There was not a single upgrade or renovation,” said retired senior citizen Rev. Clyde Hargraves who lives in Upper Marlboro .

Half of all renters in the U.S. were burdened by the cost of their rent in 2022, a report released by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies published recently. The renters rallying this evening are low-income and are part of the renters that spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities. That Harvard study found that number rose by 2 million in just three years to a record high of 22.4 million. Among these renters, 12.1 million had severe burdens, paying over half of their income for housing, also an all-time high. 

“Significant spikes in rent have not matched increases in wages, leaving gaps in what families can afford across the country. With renter protections set to end in April, landlords are counting down the days so they can increase rent as they please. They've been supplementing their income with arbitrary fees and lease non-renewals. Prince George’s County must move on permanent rent stabilization,” said CASA's Prince George's County Lead Organizer Jorge Benitez-Perez.

Rev. Hargraves continued sharing his story, saying, “Matter of fact they moved me into a smaller unit and charged me more. I am on a fixed income. Where am I supposed to come up with an extra $300 a month? I have been living in the county because I love it. I love the community I have found to retire in. I don’t love that landlords can do whatever they want with us. How can seniors age in place with predatory landlords? How can families spend time together when they have to work more to pay for these rent increases? How can children have parents that are there for each of their milestones when the rent is being exploited? We need rent stabilization for everyone. Young, old, white, black, documented, undocumented, we all deserve to have stable housing. I demand a permanent 3% rent stabilization law for Prince George’s County. We do not want to experience another wave of predatory increases. We need permanent rent stabilization now!”

The law CB-007-2023 was enacted on February 28, 2023. It took effect on April 17, 2023. It will expire on April 16, 2024. Senior housing and student housing units are not exempt from the law. CASA advocates for a permanent rent stabilization law that protects renters from unreasonable rent increases.

Tim in Greenbelt suffered a $300 rent increase in a building with terrible living conditions.

"We need rent stabilization in here because like I said 42% of my building are seniors on a fixed income taking. We are all are facing a $300 month rent increase. The elevators in the building have not passed inspection over a year and a half. We’ve had several days where we haven’t had elevators. We have four people in the building in wheelchairs. I had to walk eight floors with groceries in my hands — four times. That’s not right."

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 powerbuilding model blending human services, community organizing, and advocacy in order to serve the full spectrum of the needs, dreams, and aspirations of members.