It’s the DC regulatory department everyone loves to hate. The DCRA, or Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs, may be subdivided, if a new bill introduced by DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson passes.

The Department of Buildings Act of 2018 restructures the agency according to service type. Building-related services like construction oversight, permitting, building safety, rental code enforcement, etc., will be under the purview of the Dept. of Buildings, or DOB. The Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection, or DLCP, will be responsible for business and professional licenses (including landlord licenses), consumer protection and all business-related services.

DCRA’s failure during recent years to improve its service has been a source of concern and oversight hearings over the past year. Efforts by the Mayor’s office to reform the department have effected some positive change. Many services are now available online and the department’s website is easier to use. Still, the improvements were not implemented as well as they could have been and service is still a challenge. The bill enjoys strong support among Council members and is likely to pass.

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