May 2024

The DCAR Public Policy Committee held their first in-person Advocacy Day at the John A. Wilson Building. The Committee members met with Council members and senior staff members from every office to discuss a wide range of housing-related issues.

With budget season upon us, discussions focused on fighting higher property taxes while protecting important housing programs and consumer protections, such as the Real Estate Guarantee Fund, the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), and the Housing Production Trust Fund.

Other issues included our concerns with rent control and modernizing TOPA while maintaining the single-family home exemption to create more affordable housing in the District. For more detailed information about how DCAR is working with the DC Council on behalf of consumers and REALTORS®, click here >

May 2023

On May 18, DCAR President Tony Mancuso testified before the D.C. Council’s Committee on Housing in support of the Homeowner Resource Center component of Bill 25-113, Community Land Trusts’ Access and Homeowner Support Amendment Act of 2023.

The bill would establish a Homeowner Resource Center within the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide homeowners with information on the types of ownership, financing, insurance and taxes, purchasing residential property and more. The Resource Center will also maintain a website where homeowners can find relevant housing resources.

DCAR offered its assistance to committee members as they continue working on this issue. We will provide updates as they become available.

April 2023

DCAR attends mayor’s open house highlighting Black homeownership investment

At the invitation of Mayor Muriel Bowser, Immediate Past President Thomas Daley and other DCAR representatives attended an open house on April 10 for prospective first-time homebuyers. The event highlighted the Bowser administration’s funding in her FY ‘24 Fair Shot budget proposal that will support Black homeownership for D.C. residents.

The proposed FY ‘24 budget includes $8 million to increase available down payment assistance through Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) and a $1.5 million enhancement for Heirs Property Services. Watch video of the event here.

March 2023

DCAR members respond to call for action on rent control bill

On March 31, DCAR members mobilized through a call for action to combat a bill that sought to make changes to the rent control law on an emergency basis. If it became law, it would have reduced the annual increase from consumer price index (CPI) + 2% to just CPI. Fortunately, at the legislative session on Tuesday, April 4, the bill was ruled out of order due to having a fiscal impact.

DCAR believes it is unconscionable to use an emergency bill that would make fundamental changes to the rent control law. The D.C. Council must give the entire housing community an opportunity to present evidence and data to thoughtfully address our affordable housing goals and protect those residents who need it most. And while this is considered a small victory, DCAR anticipates this is just part of what will be a legislative battle on the issue of rent control over the next few months.

February 2023

DCAR holds open house, board holds first meeting of 2023

Last week, DCAR held an open house and reception in which members were able to meet DCAR’s 2023 leadership team and learn about ways to become more involved with their state REALTOR® association.

Additionally, At-Large Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie provided a briefing on current issues before the D.C. Council and thanked DCAR members for supporting him in last November’s election.

The reception followed DCAR’s first board meeting of the year, during which the board was hard at work planning for 2023’s activities. The board also endorsed Kevin Brown (CA) for NAR First Vice President.


January 2023

New leaders appointed to Council Housing Committee, DHCD

This month, Council Chair Phil Mendelson appointed At-Large Councilmember Robert C. White, Jr. as chair of the Committee on Housing. Other councilmembers who make up this committee include:

  • At-Large Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie
  • Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto
  • Ward 3 Councilmember Matthew Frumin
  • Ward 5 Councilmember Zachary Parker

Additionally, Mayor Muriel Bowser has appointed Colleen Green as the acting director of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

DCAR is excited to collaborate with Chairman White and Acting Director Green on initiatives that will expand homeownership in the District of Columbia.

December 2022

Before ringing in the new year, we want to share with you DCAR’s top accomplishments in 2022. Take a look!


Thank you for your contributions to DCAR’s success – we appreciate having you as a member of our association!

November 2022

Soil disclosures bill one step closer to passage

On November 15, the D.C. Council’s Committee of the Whole marked-up and the Council had its first vote on the Soil Disclosures Modernization Amendment Act of 2022, which has changed significantly since it was first introduced.

The bill began earlier this year with an update to the antiquated soil survey maps REALTORS® have been required to use for decades. Due to the tireless advocacy work of DCAR and its Public Policy Committee, Chairman Phil Mendelson and his staff found that the District was the only jurisdiction in the nation with a soil disclosure requirement and an uninformative piece in the real estate contract disclosures law. As a result of these findings, the Committee of the Whole moved forward this week with completely repealing the soil disclosures provision.

The last and final reading will be in December before going through the legislative process of Congressional review and finally becoming law. Congratulations, DCAR. This is a major win!

October 2022

DCAR testifies in support of financial literacy bill

On October 6, 2022, DCAR Public Policy Committee Chair Anthony Graham testified before the Committee of the Whole to express DCAR’s support for the Financial Literacy Education in Schools Amendment Act of 2021. The bill would establish a two-year pilot program in financial literacy as an elective course to 11 and 12th graders in all literacy as an elective course to 11th and 12th graders in all DCPS high schools.

Graham emphasized the importance of foundational financial knowledge and the value it brings in allowing people to navigate the housing path of their choice.

September 2022

Black Homeownership Strike Force releases draft of recommendations to increase homeownership

Mayor Bowser’s Black Homeownership Strike Force (BHSF) held its final meeting on August 25. Discussed at the meeting were a list of 10 policy recommendations to meet Mayor Bowser’s goal of adding an additional 20,000 Black homeowners in the District by the end of 2030.

Four goals that are the most relevant to REALTORS® are highlighted in yellow in the policy recommendations. DCAR will share the BHSF’s final report when it becomes available.

July 2022

Council extends foreclosure moratorium to aid struggling homeowners

In consultation with DCAR, the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation on June 28 to revise the foreclosure moratorium the Council passed earlier this year, which was set to expire on June 30. The need for this moratorium extension was identified by DCAR and councilmembers because applications for the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Homeownership Assistance Fund (HAF) only became available on June 22. The result would leave vulnerable homeowners without adequate time to apply for assistance through HAF.

The emergency legislation passed last week:

  • removes the 60-day deadline for submitting a homeownership assistance fund application
  • protects homeowners from foreclosure actions if they submit an application for HAF before Sept. 30, 2022
  • requires financial entities to provide homeowners notice of the HAF program
  • exempts the time period from March 11, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2022 from the three-year period a condominium association is permitted to enforce a lien against a unit owner for assessments due.

Eligible homeowners can apply for grant funding through HAF to cover mortgage payments and other property or housing expenses, including utilities, insurance, internet assistance and housing association fees. If you know someone struggling to make ends meet, encourage them to submit an application at

D.C. Council passes remote notary bill

In a win for REALTORS® and the public, the D.C. Council passed legislation on July 12 that allows public notaries to certify paper copies of electronic records and to notarize documents virtually.

During testimony at the bill’s first hearing in March 2022, DCAR emphasized the need for flexibility and access to individuals seeking notarial services and highlighted the usefulness of online notarization for traditionally underserved communities. DCAR continued to actively support the bill through its final passage last week.

May 2022

DCAR testifies in favor of soil survey modernization bill

On May 19, DCAR testified before the D.C. Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee in favor of legislation aimed at updating the way REALTORS® obtain the soil characteristics on properties for real estate disclosures.

Councilmember Mary Cheh’s office drafted the bill in consultation with DCAR’s Government Affairs team. Under the new bill, REALTORS® would be able to use the most up-to-date soil survey from the Natural Resources Conservation Service website, where they’ll be able to rely on data found in a searchable map. The current statute requires the soil disclosure to be done using an outdated 1976 color-coded static map that includes a key showing the different soil types in the District by geographic area.

“The most critical aspect of this bill Is equipping real estate professionals operating in the District with this tool, which will help avoid circumstances where a contract can be rendered void because of a totally preventable mistake,” DCAR said during the committee hearing.

April 2022

DCAR calls on D.C. Council to support Bowser’s proposal to increase investment in public safety

On April 19, DCAR, along with eight other business organizations, sent a letter to D.C. Council members expressing their support for Mayor Muriel Bowser’s recommendation to hire an additional 500 Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers contained in her proposed FY’23 budget.

The letter to council members states, in part, “The bottom line is that today’s MPD is a force that the District can be proud of. D.C. residents – and especially those in vulnerable communities – want to be safe. MPD is essential to deliver the safety residents expect and want.”

March 2022

DCAR testifies before D.C. Council committee on remote online notarization 

DCAR testified before the D.C. Council’s Housing and Executive Administration, urging the Council to make remote online notarization (RON) permanent.

The pandemic shined a spotlight on how crucial virtual services are to the real estate industry. DCAR explained how RON would remove barriers and provide D.C. residents with access to notarial services, as it allows individuals to meet with notary publics virtually to execute documents. D.C. is one of the last states that has yet to adopt RON.

DCAR will provide updates as they become available.

February 2022

D.C. Council consults with DCAR on bill aimed at making it easier to obtain soil survey data

The D.C. Council has introduced legislation aimed at updating the way REALTORS® obtain the soil characteristics on properties for the purposes of real estate disclosures. Councilmember Mary Cheh’s office drafted the bill in consultation with DCAR’s Government Affairs team. The current statute requires the soil disclosure to be done using an outdated 1976 color-coded static map that includes a key showing the different soil types in the District by geographic area.

Under the new bill, REALTORS® would be able to use the most up-to-date soil survey from the Natural Resources Conservation Service website , where they’ll be able to rely on data found in a searchable map.

DCAR will follow this issue and provide updates as they become available.

January 2022

DCAR rolls back TOPA tolling extension

As part of the District’s Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, a toll, or pause, was put into effect for the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) for the duration of the PHE. As a result, pending sales of rental properties were slowed or halted due to the inability to have meetings.

On Friday, Jan. 14, DCAR learned of a foreclosure moratorium bill authored by Councilmember Janeese Lewis George. Councilmember Anita Bonds included a narrowly written amendment that would extend the toll for the organizing phase of the TOPA process to March 31.

Shortly after, DCAR sent a letter to D.C. Council members urging councilmembers to consider passing the bill without the tolling extension, explaining that the omicron variant shouldn’t be a barrier for tenants and tenant advocates navigating the rules and procedures of the TOPA process when virtual platforms and other methods exist for holding meetings.

Councilmember Elissa Silverman reached out to DCAR after the letter was sent to broker a compromise on the amendment’s duration. Due to DCAR’s advocacy efforts and subsequent negotiations, the tolling duration was rolled back to Feb. 15. The bill now heads to Mayor Bowser for her signature.

December 2021

2021: A year of accomplishments for DCAR 

Before ringing in the new year, we want to share with you DCAR’s top accomplishments in 2021. This year, DCAR:

  • Achieved major advocacy wins to protect your business and make the District a great place to call home
  • Cultivated and built relationships city leaders
  • Represented REALTORS® before the D.C. City Council
  • Engaged with District residents and community organizations
  • And so much more

Take a look at our DCAR Year in Review for all the details.

Thank you for your contributions to DCAR’s success – we appreciate having you as a member of our association!

October 2021

D.C. Council returns from recess; foreclosure moratorium extended 

The D.C. Council reconvened with a flurry of legislation this week for their first legislative meeting since the summer recess. DCAR anticipates this fall will be highly active, with debates centered around ranked choice voting (RCV),  flood insurance, property management and other issues. The DCAR Public Policy Committee is laser-focused and is monitoring committee movement.

In other news, the Council extended the foreclosure moratorium until February 4, 2022, allowing enough time for the $50 million in federal relief to get to those homeowners who need it most. Read more about the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF).


September 2021

NAR highlights DCAR’s advocacy success in protecting tenants, on-site personnel from reckless renters

This past spring, DCAR noted with alarm that dangerous incidents in rental properties were being reported, but housing providers were powerless to evict the perpetrators because of an especially strict eviction moratorium in place during  the public health crisis. DCAR helped the Housing Committee of the D.C. City Council to craft an amendment to allow for the removal of clear and present dangers from rental housing. Read the full article.

August 2021

DCAR celebrates disbursement of rental assistance funds hitting key target

D.C. officials announced last week that more than $143 million, or 70 percent, of the $200 million federal rent relief money had been dispersed to D.C. residents. Under federal guidelines, D.C. was at risk of losing the funds if enough weren’t distributed before the end of September.

The results are a solid win for DCAR members. Read more.

July 2021

DCAR signs Digital Equity Pledge

This week, DCAR signed a pledge from the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED). By doing so, we are committed to finding ways to close the digital divide for all Washington, D.C. residents, regardless of income levels and resources, to ensure everyone has access to high-speed internet.

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD-assisted renter households have particularly low connectivity rates. Forty-five percent of Washington, D.C. households earning less than $25,000 per year do not have access to high-speed internet and 34% of households earning $25,000-$50,000 per year do not have access to high-speed internet.

The pledge states, in part:

Together, we can create a District where residents can:

*Get a fair shot at career opportunities

*Assist their children with online learning or homework

*Access essential online life and health services, such as vaccinations or check-ups

*Engage safely with family, friends, small businesses and their greater communities

Additional information from CNHED about digital equity and inclusion can be found here.

June 2021

DCAR testifies on District’s FY 2022 budget

On June 25, DCAR testified before the D.C. City Council on the District’s FY 2022 budget, praising the emphasis that is placed on housing and noting the $24.5 million slated to help low-income, first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing costs assistance.

Further, DCAR pointed out that while the budget provides $102 million toward temporary shelter renovations, city officials must work diligently and compassionately to provide assistance to homeless District residents who currently reside in tents.

DCAR also noted that the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has made innovative improvements, but critical issues remain. With the present plan to fund the split of DCRA into two departments, DCAR offered its assistance when that process is completed. With REALTORS® having day-to-day interactions with DCRA, they can provide constructive feedback on ways the agencies can improve the experiences of customers. Video of DCAR’s testimony is available here.

May 2021

DCAR continues testifying on key REALTOR® issues

On May 20, DCAR testified and raised several concerns regarding the Eviction Records Sealing Act and the Fair Tenant Screening Act. In particular, the DCAR Public Policy Committee is deeply troubled with the Fair Tenant Screening Act because it proposes heavy, undue burdens on small housing providers. Read testimony.

On May 21, DCAR was a part of an expert panel representing small housing providers to discuss how the district can equitably end various moratoria enacted during the public health emergency. Read testimony.

Most recently, on May 25, DCAR voiced praise and constructive criticism for the chairman’s Eviction Protections and Tenant Screening Act. This legislation incorporates amenable ideas from the two legislative items heard on May 20 and presents a compromise. Read testimony.

April 2021

Exemption to the eviction moratorium

Through our call for action and targeted grassroots lobbying, the D.C. Council passed Councilmember Anita Bonds’ emergency legislation, on a 12-1 vote, allowing evictions for health and safety purposes. The legislation is now on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk, where we expect she will soon sign it into law.

Pausing an increase in license fee renewals

The D.C. Real Estate Commission was on a path toward adopting a $60 license fee renewal increase when DCAR organized a call for action (CFA) to oppose the increase – with eye-popping results.

307 DCAR members participated in the CFA and emailed the Commission in protest, asking why this was being adopted during a public health emergency. DCAR members also crowded the virtual room at the April 13 commission meeting to make our association’s presence known. As a result, the Commission walked back the $60 increase.

Your voice makes a difference

We can’t stress enough how pivotal call-for-action campaigns are to advocacy efforts. The last two CFAs are testaments to how quickly DCAR members can mobilize. We urge you to continue to pay close attention when we activate campaigns—it’s a call to arms to protect our industry and we need your help! Thank you for everything you continue to do to support the issues that matter most to you.

DCAR members out in front

March Madness isn’t reserved for basketball fans only. At the D.C. Council, March is packed with performance oversight hearings, which help the Council make budget decisions for the following fiscal year, that last well into the evening. In total, DCAR provided comments at six separate hearings. We want to recognize and thank the members that represented DCAR: President Fred Bates, Anthony Graham, Bonnie Roberts-Burke and Jean Poitevien (who waited for nine hours to testify!).

Office of Planning testimony

DCRA oversight testimony


March 2021

Testifying in the District of Columbia

DCAR testified in the recent D.C. Council government oversight hearings that small housing providers need help and need more resources to help navigate the web of new and existing regulations. Take a look at the testimony from March 5 and March 9.