A newly formed coalition of tenants and housing advocates is calling for rent stabilization in Howard County, Maryland. The coalition, which includes local organizations such as the Howard County Renters Alliance and the People’s Action Committee, held a rally outside the Howard County courthouse on September 14, 2023, to demand action from local officials.
The coalition argues that rising rents in Howard County are putting increasing families and individuals at risk of homelessness and displacement. They are calling on the county to implement rent stabilization measures that would limit annual rent increases and provide greater security for tenants.
The rally was attended by dozens of tenants and advocates, many of whom shared stories of struggling to afford rent in Howard County. They emphasized the urgent need for action to address the area’s housing crisis and protect vulnerable renters from displacement.
The Debate Over Rent Stabilization
The coalition’s call for rent stabilization has sparked a debate among local officials and community members. Some argue that rent stabilization is necessary to address the housing crisis in Howard County and to protect tenants from unaffordable rent increases. They point to other cities and counties that have successfully implemented similar measures, arguing that rent stabilization can help create more stable and equitable communities.
Others, however, are skeptical of rent stabilization, arguing that it could have unintended consequences such as discouraging new housing development or reducing the quality of existing rental units. They suggest that other solutions, such as increasing the supply of affordable housing or providing greater financial assistance to renters, may be more effective in addressing the housing crisis.
As the debate over rent stabilization continues, the coalition vows to keep up the pressure on local officials to act. They say that the housing crisis in Howard County is a moral issue that demands urgent attention, and that they will not rest until all residents have access to safe, affordable housing.