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DCAR Speaker Series: Inclusionary Zoning with Gene Bulmash, Program Manager for the Department of Housing and Community Development

Thursday, Sept. 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.

The District of Columbia is using an array of tools to meet the city’s housing affordability challenge – including inclusionary zoning (IZ), which has received a lot of attention during the past year. Several zoning cases, which have been proposed and adopted, have re-shaped IZ to help increase the District’s affordable housing production. There are already many questions out there about how IZ works—now with the upgrades, it’s key for REALTORS® to stay ahead of the curve.

Join us virtually on Thursday, Sept. 9, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. as we hear D.C.’s inclusionary zoning program manager, Gene Bulmash, discuss how IZ is influencing D.C.’s housing supply. Come with your questions!

About the speaker: A recovering lawyer now working to produce and preserve affordable housing in Washington, D.C., Gene Bulmash manages the District of Columbia’s Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) affordable housing program. The program is producing about 200 new, safe, clean, amenity-rich affordable homes each year and has produced about 1,300 homes to date. Gene also manages the District’s affordable dwelling unit (ADU) program, which created approximately another 1,700 affordable homes, mostly from land dispositions or Zoning Commission cases.

Prior to joining DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development, Gene practiced real estate, municipal and corporate law for over 20 years in Chicago, London, DC and Singapore. He worked for small and large firms, including managing his own firm and represented individuals, small and large corporations and governments.

Gene received his law degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and passing the CPA exam.

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On August 3, the D.C. Council held the final vote on the FY22 budget. The final step is passage of the Budget Support Act, the statutory piece of the budget, on Aug. 10. Key highlights include:

  • An income tax increase on higher-income individuals.
  • $24 million to help low-income first-time homebuyers with down payment and closing cost assistance​.
  • Breaking up DCRA into a construction-oriented Department of Buildings and a consumer-oriented Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection.
  • $6.1 million for additional violence prevention programs.
  • $5 million for new Metropolitan Police Department recruits and cadets. (Mayor Bowser asked for $11 mil in police hires, but directed $6.1 million to violence prevention).
  • Providing housing for over 3,500 residents facing homelessness. (Which will be funded through the new tax increase on $250,000+).
  • $50 million in public housing repairs.
  • Pilot funding for the Generating Affordability in Neighborhoods (GAIN) Act, to allow for conversion of unaffordable housing into affordable housing using funded covenants.

Along with other business organizations, DCAR advocated that the Council carefully review this increase before proceeding, as it was added in at the last minute. DCAR believes that more thought and consideration should be given to this topic, and that the Tax Revision Commission would be the appropriate venue.

DCAR and GCAAR members have asked what remedies are on the table. While Mayor Bowser, who is against the increase, cannot line-item veto the tax, she can use her mayoral veto on the entire budget. However, this is unlikely as the Council would plausibly override the veto.

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Nominations for the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® of the Year Award are now open!

Earning this distinction from your state-level association is an incredible honor, one that will make you stand out among your colleagues – not to mention with potential clients!

Who can be nominated?

Nominees must be primary DCAR members who have clearly provided continuous, dedicated service to enhance the quality of the profession.

How can I apply?

Complete the application and email it, along with one color head shot of each applicant, to Please note that head shots must be in .jpeg format at a minimum of 300 dpi resolution.

The deadline for submission is Friday, August 27 at 5 p.m. Late or incomplete submissions will not be accepted.

Think the award should have your name on it? Or do you know of someone else who fits the bill? Apply now! Winners will be announced in the fall.

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When the Housing Committee of the D.C. City Council attempted to pass a raft of rent control legislation at the end of 2020, DCAR pushed back with a Call for Action that prompted nearly 300 messages from REALTOR® members and the public, ultimately sparing property owners from further restrictions for the time being. Read the full story.

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DCAR is proud to announce that, for 2020, we achieved the Triple Crown – for the third year in a row!


The Triple Crown recognizes state associations that meet their state-specific REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) goals during the past year (Jan 1– Dec 31 annually).

Congratulations to our RPAC Fundraising Committee and thanks to our state RPAC chair Stacey Barton, our Major Investor representative and 2021 DCAR president, Fred Bates, and our participation representative, Harrison Beacher, for their leadership in helping us achieve this goal.

The Triple Crown is awarded in May at the REALTORS® Legislative Meeting & Trade Expo.

2020 DCAR Major Investors

Thank you to all our RPAC Major Investors for your generous support!


Ed Krauze*++
Frank Pietranton
Bonnie Roberts-Burke*
Christopher Suranna*++
Holly Worthington++


Fred Kendrick*++
Scott Reiter*++


Frederic Bates*
Harrison Beacher*


Stacey Barton
Elizabeth Blakeslee
Charles Burger
Catherine Czuba
Thomas Daley
Kate Gordon
Brandon Green
Colin Johnson
Angela Jones
Justin Levitch
Kymber Lovett-Menkiti
Dale Mattison
Sam Medvene
Bo Menkiti
Dianah Shaw
Danai Mattison Sky
Katalin Peter
Jean Poitevien
Marjorie Rosner
Jason Sherman
Brenda Small
Jennifer Smira
Frank Snodgrass
Marty Stanton

* President’s Circle
++ Hall of Fame

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Licensed in DC, Maryland and Virginia, Chris Suranna with RLAH Real Estate has been selling real estate since 2004. He was the 2018 President of the DC Association of REALTORS® and currently sits on the GCAAR Board of Directors. He is the recipient of the 2020 DCAR REALTOR® of the Year award.

Always seeking out new opportunities to grow, Chris has held volunteer positions on many committees at the local, state and national level. Chris most recently received his CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) designation with NAR.  As a REALTOR® Party major investor and President’s Circle member, he was recently inducted into the National Association of REALTORS® RPAC Hall of Fame in 2020.

He has been a top producer every year since entering the real estate profession. Working almost 100% by referral, he enjoys working with first-time homebuyers and clients relocating to the DC metro area.

Chris currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee and is the Chairperson of the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee of the newly created national organization, The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance.

In his spare time, he enjoys traveling around the world exploring new cultures and cuisines.

Congratulations, Chris, on this monumental achievement!

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As a result of the Phase One reopening in the District of Columbia, the DCAR office is now open for appointment-only curbside sales of store merchandise. Here’s how it works:

  • Members must call in advance for a time slot and to make your payment over the phone.
  • Upon arrival, someone from our Member Services team will place your packages into your trunk or backseat through an open window, with no contact.
  • To comply with local re-opening guidelines and for safety reasons, you will be required to wear a mask when you pick up your items.
  • Curbside pick-up hours are Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Ready to place your order? Please email or call us at 301-590-8769. We look forward to serving you!

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After a series of interviews and extensive deliberation, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee (PAC) is proud to strongly endorse four candidates for DC Council in the 2020 Primary election.

The candidates noted here are proven champions of homeownership opportunities for District residents.

  • Brandon Todd, Ward 4
    Brandon Todd has been a steadfast and pragmatic member of the Council for the past 5 years. The work he has done in the community both for his constituents and all city residents is deeply respected. DCAR believes that his efforts to increase opportunities for homeownership will help the District grow.
  • Vincent Gray, Ward 7
    For more than 15 years, Vincent Gray has been a public servant for the people of the District as chairman of the Council, as mayor, and most recently as a Council member for residents of Ward 7.  He has championed a number of homeownership initiatives, including supporting DC’s First Time Homebuyer Tax Benefit.
  • Trayon White, Ward 8
    Trayon White is a steward for Ward 8 residents, ensuring they are well-represented on the Council. He has looked toward DCAR members numerous times on housing policies, as well as increasing homeownership opportunities in Ward 8.
  • Robert White, At-Large Democratic
    Robert White has been a great legislative partner during his time on the Council. Most recently, he introduced the Financial Literacy in Schools Amendment Act of 2019, which DCAR enthusiastically supported. His commitment to keeping an open line of communication with DCAR members is commendable.

Ward 2 update
DCAR conducted interviews in the Ward 2 race and, while we heard impressive plans from many candidates, we are not prepared to endorse a single candidate. We strongly advise DCAR members to review each candidate and their positions.

2020 primary election voting process
As with many activities this year, the 2020 election process will be different than in years past. While there will be in-person voting, the Board of Elections encourages all residents to request an absentee (mail-in) ballot. You can find information on this year’s primary election process on the Board of Elections website.

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The DC office, located at 1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, will have the following changes to its regular hours for the 2018 holiday season:

  • November 21: Office Closes at 3:00pm
  • November 22 – November 24: Office Closed
  • December 22 – December 25: Office Closed
  • December 31: Office Closes at 2:00pm
  • January 1: Office Closed

Please send any questions to, and have a safe and happy holiday season!

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DCAR is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Josephine Ricks, a monumental figure in DC real estate, on October 25.

Jo was the chairman of the DC Real Estate Commission at the time of her passing, as well as Associate Broker at City Houses for 25 years. She was also so much more than that. She was an activist in her Logan Circle neighborhood, the lead vocalist of the band Hook, Line and Sinker, a member of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, a Washingtonian of 50 years, and a friend and leader to so many.

She passed away at a hospice facility near her home after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

A service will be held for Jo on November 2 at 11:00 am at Washington’s National Cathedral. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Jo’s memory to St. George’s Episcopal Church (P.O. Box 30, Valley Lee, Maryland 20692-0030).