In the summer of 2014, a team of attorneys including Covington & Burling Associate Terra White Fulham agreed to represent pro bono the Taylor Towers Tenant Association in a matter that dates back to 2007, when the tenants’ landlord filed a petition with the D.C. government seeking permission to increase the tenants’ rent by 29 percent. The case has languished for years – first at the Rental Housing Commission (RHC) and now at the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
Earlier this month, at Legal Aid’s suggestion, Ms. Fulham and Tillman Peck, president of the tenant association, testified at the D.C. Council’s Performance Oversight Hearing for DHCD and the RHC. In their testimony, Ms. Fulham and Mr. Peck described the association’s nine-year litigation before the two housing agencies that continues to this day. The Covington team has been stymied in moving the case forward due to, in Ms. Fulham’s words, “significant delay and inaction” by both agencies. Mr. Peck recommended that the Council work to speed the agency process and prevent future cases from dragging out this way, without any resolution for the landlord or the tenants.