2023 DCAR Speaker Series events

In-Person DCAR Speaker Series: What works for ADUs in D.C.?

Thursday, June 15, 11:30 am – 2:00 pm

In 2016, the District changed its zoning regulations to allow single-family homeowners to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on their lot. Since the implementation of this regulation, what kinds of ADU projects are being permitted and built? What’s the typical process? What are the pitfalls?

These questions and many more will be answered at DCAR’s next Speaker Series, held in person at DCAR’s office at 1615 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Floor 3, Washington, D.C. 20009. Lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP by Tuesday, June 13.


Past 2022 Speaker Series events

Understanding D.C.’s new landlord-tenant laws

Thursday, May 19, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

In February, the D.C. Council passed permanent legislation affecting tenants and housing providers. DCAR was actively involved in policy discussions to ensure that housing providers and tenants were treated fairly. The legislation makes key changes to eviction records and tenant screening – every property manager and housing provider must know about these crucial revisions. Attorney William P. Cannon, III from the law firm of Offit Kurman discussed these changes, and explained what small housing providers should expect.

About the speaker: Billy Cannon is a Department Chair and a member of Offit Kurman’s Landlord Representation Practice Group. He represents property owners and property management companies in litigation, mediations, administrative agency hearings and leasing, with a special emphasis on Fair Housing and discrimination complaints. Mr. Cannon routinely provides Fair Housing Act training and compliance for clients in litigation and administrative disputes related to Fair Housing and discrimination.

The Effects of Climate Change on the District’s Real Estate

Thursday, April 14, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Climate Change is influencing how cities and states across the U.S. address climate resiliency. Flooding is becoming more frequent and widespread in the District; homes that we thought would never would be susceptible to flooding are taking in water during heavy rainfalls. Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells discussed how DC. is tackling these concerns.

About the speaker: Tommy Wells is the director of the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE). Appointed January 2015, he is chiefly responsible for protecting the environment and conserving the natural resources of the District of Columbia. Tommy’s team is comprised of approximately 300 environmental professionals collectively working to improve the quality of life for residents and the natural inhabitants of the Nation’s Capital.

Short-Term Rental Regulations in D.C. (Virtual)

Thursday, March 10, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Owners of short-term rentals (STRs) in D.C. will have new rules to follow beginning on April 10. Jonathan Kuhl, DCRA administrator of business and professional licensing, provided key information on the new requirements and the STR licensing process.

Past 2021 Speaker Series events

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

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

The District of Columbia is using an array of tools to meet the city’s housing affordability challenge. One tool that has received significant attention over the past year is Inclusionary Zoning (IZ). Several Zoning Cases have been proposed (and adopted) that reshapes IZ to help increase the District’s affordable housing production. DC’s Inclusionary Zoning Program Manager, Gene Bulmash, discussed how IZ is influencing D.C.’s housing supply.

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.

Education and Schools

June 10, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Cludia Luján, DCPS deputy chief, strategic school planning and enrollment, spoke to REALTORS® on issues ranging from COVID-19, equity initiatives and new, and innovative programs aimed at bettering the district’s overall public school system

Claudia Luján was born and raised in Washington D.C. and has over fourteen years of experience working in education.  In 2017, she re-joined District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) to manage the District’s planning and portfolio work. Claudia has a long history of working in DC education that began in 2005 as the Workforce Director at the Carlos Rosario International Career Center and Public Charter School, a public charter school for adult immigrants.  In 2007, she joined DC Government and has since held multiple positions in the Deputy Mayor for Educations’ Office (DME) and DCPS, managing and leading a number of citywide planning projects.   At the DME she worked on projects primarily focused on cross-sector planning, including the District’s first common lottery and student assignment issues.  As the Chief of Staff to the Chief Operating Officer at DCPS, she managed the agency’s portfolio-planning activities, including school closures, grade configuration changes, and enrollment projections.  Claudia received a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts from Mills College.  She currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area with her four children.


Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)

April 8, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Clarence Whitescarver, chief building official for D.C.’s Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), provided insights into the all-important inspection process.

The District of Columbia Comprehensive Plan

March 11, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) is likely one of the most important documents that you rarely hear about—it’s the guiding document for Washington, D.C. government, residents, employers and developers. Housing and land use are cornerstone pieces in the Comp Plan. To provide clarity and insight on this complex document, we are honored to have Director Andrew Trueblood joined DCAR and its members to discuss details. Director Trueblood also provided our members with key updates happening at the Office of Planning.


Affordable Housing and Rent Control

February 25, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Dean Hunter, CEO of the Small Multifamily Owners Association, joined us for our first Speaker Series of 2021. Dean and his association have advocated fiercely for small housing providers and have helped ward off Rent Control legislation.