TOPA in Middle Age: A Solution to Affordable Housing in the District and Beyond?

In Washington, DC, the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), now more than 40 years old, has given tenants the right to buy their buildings when they are for sale. Though TOPA is unique, other right to buy laws such as those in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County, Maryland, support affordable housing by giving the jurisdiction the right to buy buildings as they age out or opt out of affordable housing programs.

Are such policies successful? Why or why not? Whom do they benefit? And for whom are they a burden? Do local governments have better alternatives?

Moderator Alex Baca, Housing Program Coordinator at Greater Greater Washington leads an expert panel in this discussion:

Josh Earn, Director of Lending, National Housing Trust

Farah Fosse, Consultant, Change for Good

Patrick McAnaney, Project Manager, Somerset Development