The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Montgomery County, Maryland:
Rent Higher than the Roof

Aug 21, 2023

The county council in Montgomery County, Maryland, passed a so-called rent stabilization law in July. The law limits housing rent increases to three percent above inflation. Politicians, the media, and liberal organizations went wild celebrating the news. But the law has loopholes and problems you could drive a truck through—a cash transport truck.

New housing built from now on will be exempt from the cap for 23 years! The cap does not apply to the thousands of apartments in incorporated cities like Rockville and Gaithersburg. And in the nine months before the law takes effect, landlords are free to raise the rents as high as they have been doing recently. Renters have complained to the county about rents going up as high as 22%, even 90%, in the last several years.

The main problem is the cat is already out of the bag. Rents were too high before the pandemic and have exploded since. Putting a cap on rent that is already too high doesn’t help the thousands of working and retired people who were already priced out of the county.

The only real answer is a system that frees housing from the profit motive.