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.
— DCAR (@dcarealtors) March 6, 2018
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.