WASHINGTON, DC – Today D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, joined by seven other councilmembers, introduced the “Department of Buildings Act of 2018” which would reorganize the Executive agency currently known as the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).

“After a year of oversight hearings, it has become abundantly clear that DCRA is an agency in need of major change,” the Chairman said. “DCRA needs to do a better job – for both residents and businesses. I believe breaking up and reorganizing the agency is the best way.”

The bill establishes a new agency focused on the oversight of construction compliance, rental housing safety, and residential property maintenance activities in the District -- the Department of Buildings (DOB). Permitting, inspection, and enforcement of the construction/building, zoning, and residential housing codes are among the duties that will be transferred to this new agency.

The bill shields the Strategic Enforcement Administrator and the Chief Building Officer – the two individuals in the New DOB responsible for code compliance and enforcement – from political influence by the Chief Executive, ensuring that both positions are given statutory employment protections.

The bill re-designates the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs as the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP). The DLCP will retain functions and duties related to business licensing, regulatory investigations, consumer protection, and small business resources.

“When this agency runs well, it is a benefit for all District residents,” the Chairman added.