Transitional Housing in Neighborhoods for Families (DC General replacement). In last minute action before summer recess, the Council passed a plan for temporary housing facilities for families who are homeless – one in each of 7 wards ( B21-620 and Committee Report). The Council plan was based on a premise that “it is in the best interest of the District to construct these new temporary-shelter facilities on District owned land.” Other factors included the cost-effectiveness of owning the land and facilities over time, the inadequacy of some of the proposed sites as well as zoning barriers that might be difficult to overcome.
The Ward 3 transitional housing planned for 3320 Idaho Ave. NW prompted the Ward 3C ANC (Advisory Neighborhood Commission) to pass a Resolution in June unanimously opposing the site. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh responded: “The site on Idaho Avenue will, of course, have an effect on the surrounding neighborhood…Although some concerns are likely unfounded…others will require resolution through collaboration between the government and the surrounding community. But the fact that the site poses challenges is not disqualifying; again there is no perfect site.” Read about Ward 3 concerns, the impact of homelessness on children, why small transitional housing facilities are important and successful and answers to neighborhood concerns. If well-designed, well-built, well-maintained and well-managed, transitional housing can be successful in any neighborhood.
Status of transitional housing (mid-August): The 7 proposed new transitional housing buildings are at various stages of development, but all are underway: mapping the site, RFP for architects to design the facility, zoning requests, community advisory committees established, Good Neighbor agreements planned etc. All the facilities are expected to be ready for occupancy by 2019.
Shelter Census, July 19, 2016: 884 families with 1708 children resided in shelter or transitional housing on this date. 999 single men and women also resided in shelters.
IN THE NEWS
Homeward DC, 2015-2020. Inter-agency Council on Homelessness Strategic Plan, 2015-2020. Read Executive Summary.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 2016 Point in Time survey of regional homelessness. Read report.
Newsletter – current and previous.
Biblical Roots of Justice – Foundation of the Journey for Justice: an interfaith conversation on homelessness and the Journey for Justice for our neighbors who are without homes (10 minutes)