Tenants across the DC region are struggling to make ends meet during the longest shutdown in history. For that reason, DC Jobs With Justice partnered with housing providers and labor unions to provide a letter that helps landlords understand their options, and encourages them to be flexible and generous with tenants affected by the shutdown. These workers include federal workers, contractors, and others in the service and hospitality industries that have not had access to shifts or tips over the last month.
For tenants in Washington, DC, the DC Council unanimously passed legislation that requires landlords to grant tenants a grace period of 30 days after the shutdown ends before pursuing unpaid rent. (It is currently awaiting final approval by Mayor Bowser). We support this legislation, and hope other jurisdictions will adopt similar measures.
DC Jobs With Justice, the Latino Economic Development Center and local unions SEIU 32BJ and UNTE HERE 23 worked together to craft a letter that tenants can provide to their landlord to request leniency. Given DC’s new laws, we expect these letters to be of greater importance for residents in Maryland and Virginia. DC JWJ, LEDC and other housing organizations are also spreading this letter to landlords, housing providers, and other agencies that support tenants around the region.
Please distribute widely in your networks to help share the word, feel free to use as a template for other regions.