The District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) is proud to endorse Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh for re-election.
Councilmember Cheh has served her constituents admirably in her time in office, emerging as a champion of homeowners in Ward 3 and across the city. By supporting the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Benefit and the single-family home exemption to TOPA, Councilmember Cheh has made it clear she values the benefits of homeownership and laying down roots in the District.
We look forward to continuing our work with Councilmember Cheh to increase the homeownership rate in the District, which presently is among the lowest in the nation. Her voting record shows she recognizes the importance of owning a home, and we’re thrilled to support her in her bid for re-election.
As a member-driven trade association of REALTORS®, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® (DCAR) supports elected officials who represent our mission to protect and promote homeownership. One of our greatest advantages is having members in all eight wards, which gives us the ability to work closely with every Councilmember.
Homeowners have benefited from the Council’s work over the past year, namely securing a first-time homebuyer tax benefit and exempting single-family homes from the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). We are proud to say many of the candidates we have previously endorsed have gone on to champion these vital initiatives.
When DCAR’s REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) interviewed candidates for the 2018 Democratic Primary Election, the conversations were thoughtful and deliberative. Our endorsement decisions were met with strong consensus; you can read about them here.
Ward 1 was complicated. Four years ago, we celebrated when Councilmember Nadeau emerged victorious in her long-shot race over then incumbent, Jim Graham. This year, we strongly deliberated the value of four more years of Councilmember Nadeau at the helm of Ward 1.
We were hopeful she would chart a new course distinctly different from her predecessor, and there have been occasions in which she has shown promise. However, Councilmember Nadeau’s lack of focus on the cost of homeownership and efforts to weaken the TOPA legislation remain difficult issues to reconcile. TOPA rules were onerous, outdated and far too often hand-tied homeowners at excessive time and cost from selling their homes.
DCAR RPAC dutifully vetted the three other candidates in this year’s Ward 1 race, and their enthusiasm to serve Ward 1 was clear. Unfortunately, their goals for the Ward do not align with ours at this time.
Above all, DCAR is committed to affordable housing and homeownership throughout the District. To that end, although we will not be financially endorsing Councilmember Nadeau, we will continue to work with and support her as she strives to meet the homeownership needs of her Ward 1 constituents.
After a series of interviews and extensive deliberation, the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® PAC is proud to strongly endorse the following candidates for DC Council in the 2018 Democratic Primary Election:
Phil Mendelson | Council Chair
Anita Bonds | At-Large
Kenyan McDuffie | Ward 5
Charles Allen | Ward 6
Each of the candidates noted here are proven champions of homeownership. They have worked to help people plant their roots in the District, and they’ve advocated for small businesses during their time in office.
Phil Mendelson has led the Council admirably for six years. He has expertly navigated several key issues for District homeowners, including an exemption for single-family homes from the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) and a first-time homebuyer tax benefit, and his efforts have improved the city’s landscape for homeownership.
Anita Bonds served as the chair of the Council’s Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization. She has been an ally for homeowners and those looking to plant their roots in the District for years, and her efforts to engage all stakeholders on complex matters such as TOPA have yielded positive results for the entire city.
Kenyan McDuffie has fought for homeowners and small businesses throughout his tenure as Ward 5 Councilmember. His willingness to listen to both sides of every issue has been instrumental to the Council’s success over the past few years.
Charles Allen has deftly overseen the largest and most diverse ward in DC. Ward 6 is the only ward that touches each of the District’s four quadrants, and its population consists of homeowners, tenants and businesses, yet Councilmember Allen has worked with each party to ensure a balanced landscape.
*Mary Cheh is running unopposed for the Ward 3 seat.
**Stay tuned for more details on the Ward 1 race.
Early voting opens June 4th. More information here.
History has been made!
The DC Council on Tuesday voted in favor of passing Bill 22-0315, which exempts single-family homes from TOPA legislation — some exceptions are made for elderly (62 and up) and disabled tenants.
More on the specifics of this bill will be coming soon. The bill still must be signed by Mayor Bowser and approved by Congress before it can become law.
Again: This bill is not yet law.
However, the bill passing through the Council is an enormous victory for homeowners, buyers, sellers and affordable housing in the District.
We’d like to thank to the hundreds of homeowners, buyers, sellers and other interested residents who came out time and again to show their support for this exemption.
We’re not quite there yet, but we’re closer than we’ve ever been before to a common-sense single-family home exemption. Stay tuned for more!
On Tuesday, March 6, 10 DC Councilmembers voted to move forward on a bill that would exempt single-family homes from TOPA legislation.
This is a step toward TOPA reform that the real estate community and homeowners have been fighting for for years, and while the bill still has a ways to go before becoming law, it’s an enormous step in the right direction.
More than 100 supporters of Bill 22-0315 showed up to the Wilson Building Tuesday to voice their approval, and the building was so full of supporters donning #FixTOPA stickers that the hearing room reached capacity. A second hearing room was opened for all those who couldn’t get seats in the primary hearing room, and those folks were able to watch the proceedings via a live stream.
When the vote was announced at 10-2 in favor of (with one recusal), the room erupted in applause. The exultation was further proof that TOPA has no place in the single-family realm; the Councilmembers have worked hard to address concerns voiced by residents of the District, and Tuesday’s hearing marked their success.
Councilmember Robert White recused himself from the vote, as his spouse is in the process of selling a single-family home in which TOPA rights could come into play. Councilmembers Elissa Silverman and Brianne Nadeau voted against the single-family exemption, while the other 10 Councilmembers voted in support of the bill.
Said Anita Bonds, the chair of the Council’s Housing Committee, after the vote: “It’s the right thing to do.”
Frankly, we couldn’t agree more.
Despite this incredible victory, we’re not all the way there yet. The next step is a second reading, which is tentatively scheduled for April 10. More updates about that hearing will be provided as they become available.
If the bill is voted through again at the second reading, then it goes to the Mayor for approval.
Huge TOPA news: We have a single-family exemption working its way through the DC Council!
If this bill goes through the Council’s legislative process and becomes law, it would create a full exemption from TOPA for single-family homes; the only exclusions currently noted in the bill are tenants who are A) 62 years or older or B) disabled.
On Friday, Feb. 23, the DC Council’s housing committee voted to push the exemption through to the full Council. The full Council is scheduled to review the bill on Tuesday, March 6. That hearing is set to start at 10 a.m. and will be held in Room 500 of the Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW).
Full DC legislative calendar
Several dozen REALTORS® were in attendance for the housing committee’s hearing, and their presence helped prove the impact this legislation will have on the real estate industry. Now, we just need to keep filling the hearing rooms.
When the full Council convenes on March 6, we need a room full of REALTORS® showing their support. As we’ve proven twice before, when we pack the room, the Council listens.
Stay tuned for updates.
NBC4 TOPA Coverage
DCAR hosted its fourth annual Advocacy Day on Nov. 16, and it was a resounding success! About two dozen DCAR leaders spent the day at the Wilson Building meeting with DC Councilmembers and their staffs, discussing a number of issues that are of utmost importance to REALTORS®.
The primary topic was, of course, TOPA reform. We were quite pleased with the response the Councilmembers took to our concerns regarding TOPA, and we appreciated them taking the time to learn more about the problems TOPA has caused DC’s single-family homeowners.
READ TOPA HORROR STORIES
TOPA was not the only issue discussed, however.
DCAR’s representatives also spoke with the Council about short-term rental regulations, and we were able to engaged in a cordial back-and-forth with the Councilmembers on a number of pieces of relevant proposed legislation. We also discussed the idea of changing the process in which real-estate professionals are able to conduct business through business entities such as LLCs, an idea that most Councilmembers were open to.
Overall, it was an incredible experience for all in attendance, and the Council was incredibly receptive to all of DCAR’s issues of interest.
SEE THE PICTURES
Don’t Wait Until Winter
It’s important to act early. Winterizing your home once winter has already started is like putting on sunscreen after you’ve already gotten a sunburn. Take some time to winterize your home now to save yourself a huge hassle — and bill — later.
How to Winterize Your Home
It feels like we were all walking around in short sleeves just a few weeks ago, but this past weekend brought the first frost of the year. And according to The Washington Post, the first snow usually comes to the DC area about a month from today.
That means now is the time to take preventative measures. While the weather is still moderate, take a few hours to make sure your home is in good shape for the coming months. And, of course, don’t forget to pass on these tips to your clients, especially those who are entering their first winters as homeowners!
- Buy a faucet protector: Faucet protectors prevent cold air from getting into your pipes and home via outdoor faucets. They’re available from a variety of retailers for less than $10, and they could prevent a disastrous and pricey flood.
- Clean your gutters: Nobody likes to clean gutters, but clogged gutters can lead to water and snow seeping into a home’s foundation, which can lead to incredibly expensive repairs.
- Seal cracks: It’s so cheap and easy to fix cracks in window sills, but people always put off doing it. Yet spending an hour caulking those cracks can help cut down on heating bills over the next few months.
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The information expressed herein is intended to serve as a general resource guide for the members of the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® and is subject to change. While the District of Columbia Association of REALTORS® strives to make the information in this email as timely and accurate as possible, the Association makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the contents, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors and omissions. This information should not be taken as legal counsel.