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2016 Rent Control CPI Is Zero (0) Percent

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The DC Rental Housing Commission has announced that the 2016 “rent control CPI” will be 0 percent (yes zero).  The “rent control CPI” serves as the basis for calculating the maximum standard rent increase for rental units under rent control.  It will apply to standard rent increases that become effective between May 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017.  It works as follows:

  1. If a rent-controlled unit is occupied by an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability, the standard rent increase cap will be 0 percent (CPI), so the rent cannot be raised on that basis.  However, the tenant must have registered his or her status at the Rent Administrator’s Office.
  2. For all other rent-controlled units, the standard rent increase cap will be two (2) percent (CPI  + 2 percent).
  3. The current (2015) caps -- 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively -- will continue to apply to standard rent increases that become effective prior to May 1, 2016.  

Each year, for the benefit of elderly tenants and tenants with disabilities, we compare the new “rent control  CPI” figure with the prevailing federal Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (SS COLA).  The SS COLA is used to calculate Social Security benefits for the calendar year.  The SS COLA for calendar year 2016 is also zero (0).  

For a historical comparison of the rent control CPI with the SS COLA, please view the attachment below.