By Adam Pagnucco.
In response to a question about just cause eviction and rent control at the Progressive Neighbors County Executive forum, Council Member Marc Elrich stated that the Purple Line would cause “ethnic cleansing” without a rent control law. Elrich said:
I support rent stabilization and I think we need to be honest with ourselves about this. If we throw up our hands about this and say the market will determine the price of housing and the market alone will determine that, then we are going to wipe out neighborhood after neighborhood in Montgomery County. If you did that, then if you did not put rent stabilization around the Purple Line stops, for example, then the neighborhoods around the Purple Line will not continue to exist. They will be bought, they will be repurposed and they will go to other people.
When we did the Long Branch plan, and Park and Planning came in and said we want to rezone all the existing housing in Long Branch, I accused the Planning Board of ethnic cleansing. And I said some people do it with the gun, you guys are doing it with the pen but the truth is those folks would be gone and they would be gone forever…
Elrich’s remarks begin at the 2:29 mark of this video taken by Ryan Miner.
Disclosure: Your author is a long-time supporter of the Purple Line and is a publicly listed supporter of Council Member Roger Berliner for Executive.