#TestimonyTuesday: JUFJ Testimony in Support of Meaningful Rent Stabilization in Montgomery County
JUFJer Rafi Glazer testifies in support of the HOME Act, which would enact meaningful rent stabilization in Montgomery County.
Without a secure home, normal social relations fall apart, and happiness becomes impossible. Homelessness brings with it fear, depression and a loss of grounding. The Book of Lamentations compares homelessness to the loss of a parent or spouse. By contrast, the establishment of a permanent home promises lasting security. Thus, God’s ultimate promise to the Jewish people, articulated first in God’s covenant with Abraham, is the guarantee of a home: “I will establish a home for my people Israel and will plant them firm, so that they shall dwell secure and shall tremble no more.” (2 Samuel 7:10)
– Jill Jacobs, “There Shall Be No Needy” p.133-4
Housing is a human right. Everyone deserves housing that is affordable, safe, sanitary, and stable.
Yet legal protections for renters are weak. Laws provide little control over how much landlords and developers can increase rents in the County. Rents continue to rise while real income for working people has been in decline since 2008. This growing affordability gap, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is fueling epidemic of evictions and driving thousands of residents out of Montgomery County.
Our County is facing an affordable housing crisis, and when more than a third of residents are renters, all of us are impacted — especially the 50% of renters who spend a third or more of their income on rent. Housing insecurity also disproportionately impacts immigrants and trans and disabled people, as well as renters who live at or below the poverty line, earn a fixed or limited income, or did not qualify for pandemic-era emergency rental assistance funds because they could not prove pandemic-related loss of income.
JUFJ is working with partners and government officials to advocate for housing stability (providing due process legal protections for individuals and families facing the prospect of eviction), protections for renters, and the expansion of opportunities for the development of safe and affordable housing in our County. Montgomery County must reverse the trend that has led to the loss of 25,000 affordable rental units over the past 10 years. And we can advocate for more affordable, more available, and more secure housing for all.
Our housing partners include: CASA, Everyday Canvassing, Montgomery County Democratic Socialists of America, and the members of the Montgomery County Racial Equity Network, in addition to our union partners at MCEA, MCGEO & SEIU Local 500, whose members have made housing a top issue.
Want to get more involved in this campaign? Contact an organizer.
Montgomery County Resources:
April 10 | 9:30 am – 10:00 pm
Join us to celebrate Sine Die, the last day of the Maryland General Assembly’s 2023 legislative session!
April 18 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Join us for our next Montgomery County Housing Team meeting to get updates about the fight for permanent rent stabilization and take action together.