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Tenant advocate: D.C. rent way over 'affordable levels'

Monday - 10/3/2011, 8:02am  ET

Shreve.jpg
Many people do not realize their tenant rights, says D.C. Chief Tenant Advocate Johanna Shreve, which is precisely why her office exists. (WTOP/Paul D. Shinkman)

The Politics Program

D.C. Chief Tenant Advocate Johanna Shreve; Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors; and Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran.

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WASHINGTON -- D.C. Chief Tenant Advocate Johanna Shreve joined Mark Plotkin for the first half of "The Politics Program" on Friday, followed by a discussion of upcoming political elections with Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, and Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran.

Shreve discussed the "skyrocketing" rent levels in D.C., which she says is much steeper than other cities.

"The rates have exceeded what I would call 'affordable levels,'" she says, pointing to the large number of elderly residents, those making less than $20,000 per year and the large immigrant population in D.C., many of whom have to work three jobs to afford a home.

"We need to look at ways to ensure there is an affordable envelope over all apartments in this city," says Shreve of the need to reform rent control policy, "so that those of all economic status can enjoy living in the District of Columbia."

Many people do not realize their tenant rights, she says, which is precisely why her office exists.

Stewart announced he will not run for U.S. Senate, and discussed the field of Republicans currently running for public office.

He describes presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry as "awful," and points to what he says the good record of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Stewart's pick for the nomination.

Christie is simply the "candidate du jour," Moran says, whose popularity is more a reflection of the general "disatisfaction" with the current candidates than what he's accomplished as governor.

Moran believes the Democrats will maintain the State Senate Majority.

Stewart says there are some seats the Republicans will take. "The key is to take control of the senate so the governor's agenda can get passed," he says.

Check out the full audio at right.

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