Testimony: Implementation of Law 23-269, the Department of Buildings Establishment Act of 2020
Children’s Law Center Policy Attorney Christina M. Simpson testified before the DC Council’s Committee of the Whole regarding the implementation of the Department of Buildings (“DOB”) Establishment Act of 2020. As Christina shared, Children’s Law Center works with hundreds of DC families each year to get landlords to repair housing code violations that threaten children’s health. It is because we know the importance of healthy housing that Children’s Law Center previously testified on the implementation of DOB in February — but unfortunately, we remain concerned that the agency is not being set up for success.
If DOB is to succeed where the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (“DCRA”) has failed, the Council must ensure that it is meaningfully different from DCRA, including: providing transparency on the transition of responsibilities to DOB; making sure DOB is more effective at responding to tenant needs than DCRA; new leadership to energize the agency; and establishing a new culture with an eye toward more inspections and better code enforcement.