Many of the children and families that we represent each year live in terrible housing conditions and receive no meaningful assistance from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to ensure their right to safe and healthy housing. Children’s Law Center Senior Supervising Attorney Kathy Zeisel recently shared testimony at DCRA’s performance oversight hearing, focusing on our ongoing concerns about the agency’s ability to carry out its responsibilities to DC tenants. For fiscal year 2021, for example, the agency’s own dashboard data shows that less than half of the 2,500+ housing inspections with violations were abated last year, and these abysmal statistics are unfortunately consistent with the experiences of our clients. Given DCRA’s continued ineffectiveness, Kathy urged the DC Council to fund and ensure a robust Department of Buildings, as well advance other housing code reform bills that promote healthy housing, including funding the Residential Housing Environmental Safety Act, re-introducing the Bedbug Control Act and re-introducing the Lead Hazard Prevention and Elimination Act.
Read her full testimony here: