DEL. NADARIUS CLARK AND SEN. JENNIFER BOYSKO INTRODUCE RENT RELIEF LEGISLATION AS 300 FAIR HOUSING ADVOCATES RALLY AT THE VIRGINIA STATE CAPITOL
January 20th, 2023
Richmond, VA — At a rally with New Virginia Majority this week outside the legislative offices of Virginia’s General Assembly, Del. Clark, representative for Virginia’s 79th house district covering parts of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Chesapeake, spoke to over 300 advocates for rent relief in Virginia before meetings were set to begin between the activists and members of the general assembly.
“We all know rent is on the rise in Virginia and across the country,” Clark said. “As a working class activist and the youngest Delegate in the state legislature, I deal with and have experienced the impact of the decisions made by the lawmakers who came before me just like you every day.” Clark added, addressing the crowd. “In the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is no limit on the rent increases imposed by a landlord. Setting a reasonable limit on the amount that a tenant's rent can increase year-over year, will directly address the issue of rising rents in the Commonwealth.”
“My bill HB 1532, would give cities in our Commonwealth the option to enroll in rent stabilization programs, such as requiring that rent increases be capped at Virginia’s rate of inflation.”
Delegate Clark’s HB 1532, is an updated version of the same bill he introduced last year, HB 573, which failed in committee due to Republican opposition in 2022. This year, he hopes momentum from supporters and activists will help grow support for the bill.
That growing support can clearly be seen in the General Assembly’s upper chamber where a companion bill filed in the Senate by Senator Jennifer Boysko, of senate district 33 which covers part of Fairfax county, was passed by with a bi-partisan agreement that the issue of rent stabilization be studied by the Virginia Housing Commission.
“Momentum is certainly growing and this issue is becoming harder and harder to ignore.” Delegate Clark said. “We take for granted everyday how many doors are open to us just because we have a roof over our head. It's easier to get a job, it's easier to get an education, it’s easier to stay healthy, and participate in other parts of the economy. Lower rent allows Virginians to stay in their homes for longer and build lasting roots in the communities where they raise their families.”
The bill is further supported by New Virginia Majority, Virginia Poverty Law Center, Legal Aid Justice Center, Virginia Student Power Network, CASA, and Tenants and Workers United.