What started off as an attempt from Solid Properties to attract the community at 13th & Savannah and convince them to sign a document giving up their TOPA rights became a means for tenants to fight for their future. When one member of the community, Muhammad Rasheed, started asking questions on the details of the documents, the representative dismissed him and insisted that his signature wasn't necessary for this to go through. ONE DC, Housing Counseling Services, and attorney Blake Biles joined tenants, including Muhammad Rasheed, to support their work to organize a tenants association in order to exercise their TOPA rights. Several meetings were called to get the message out to the community. Consequently, the newly formed tenants association was able to assign their rights to NHT, a non-profit developer that worked with the residents to reach an agreement.
"We were successfully able to practice our TOPA rights and pick a new owner for our community," says Rasheed when explaining the successful outcome. We hope such successful attempts become a norm as we continue to fight for the right to housing, income, and wellness in DC.