By a unanimous vote yesterday, the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation introduced by Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham that will quicken the date that rent control will be tightened. The reform passed June 6 will now go into effect August 4.

Two weeks ago, we reported that Graham was considering such a move because tenants were seeing an increasing number of rent hikes as landlords moved to jack up rents while they still could.

Graham says those hikes were part of his decision. “In fact, there was an impact on tenants occurring. We’ve reduced the time for that impact,” he says. The colonial nature of District governance contributed, too. Had Congress not taken an extra day of recess over the 4th of July, says Graham, the legislation would have become active around Aug. 4. But because of the long recess, it wouldn’t have gone into effect until the end of September or early October.

“We know we have a 30-day layover requirement, but when it becomes 60 days, I think we have to act on an emergency basis,” he says. “It’s an example of the burden that the congressional review process places on the D.C. legislature.”

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