Montgomery County leaders host townhall to discuss rising rent prices

Skyrocketing rent prices and a lack of affordable housing in Montgomery County has some families wondering what they'll do next. 

Wednesday night, Councilmember Will Jawando along with Maryland State Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins and advocates for renters and affordable housing held a virtual town hall session to discuss concerns. 

One of the big concerns discussed was landlords increasing the rent prices at a time when a lot of people are struggling to afford their bills.

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"In the last few weeks, the Renters Alliance has seen increases between 10% and 53%," Matt Losak with the Montgomery County Renter’s Alliance said. "We’re afraid we’re going to see the forced migration of working families and low-income families in Montgomery County and beyond. We don’t know where they’re going to go. We don’t know what the impact of this is going to be, but it’s not going to be good." 

Several other advocacy groups during the town hall shared they were concerned about limited resources and renter protections being lifted recently.  

They are calling on the County Council to pass legislation to extend the cap on rent increases by another six months and to hold landlords accountable. 


Several renters on the call discussed being worried about how they’ll be able to afford the continued rising rent cost.  

"My rent is $2,095 per month excluding the cost for gas water and parking," Danielle Herrmann said. "As a senior citizen with kidney disease, I’m immunocompromised yet due to high rent I cannot afford to stop working … What type of community is Montgomery County creating if it does not address the suffering of those of us living with housing insecurity?" 

How to handle rent increases in Montgomery County

There was also a single mom pleading for help on the call saying she had a one-bedroom apartment with six kids.   

She says the complex offered her a three-bedroom apartment for $2,400, but she couldn’t afford it, so they asked her to leave.  

"I’m currently living with a family member assisting me and my children," she said.  

Councilmember Will Jawando said they plan to introduce a bill next Tuesday to extend the cap on rent increases.  

County officials also discussed some of the resources and assistance that is available for renters and those facing eviction. 

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