Ambitious HOUSING Goals for the City….
For many months Mayor Bowser has talked about her second term as a place for ambitious goals for the city, particularly in housing: the city needs “to create 36,000 new units of housing by 2025.” The message continues: “…to get there we have to be bold – we must challenge ourselves to think differently and craft programs and policies that address needs of residents in every neighborhood and across the income spectrum.” (Letter from the Mayor, March 28, 2019)
Many would characterize the FY 2020 budget for affordable housing as progressive, but not bold . There are no initiatives AS YET to address the need for 36,000 new units on a scale that would produce that number by 2025, nor is there an 8 Ward solution as promised in early budget talks.
Incremental is good, but not sufficient. Incremental is not bold, nor does it address the desperate need for housing for the City’s poorest residents. The question for faith communities: what would bold look like? Can we afford not to try to be bold when so many remain in deep poverty?
The local press report progress and issues:
D.C. Housing Authority Proposes To Completely Demolish Or Gut Ten Public Housing Properties. Natalie Delgadillo, DCist. July 3, 2019.
The Comp Plan is about to be baaaack. Here’s what’s happening. David Alpert and Alex Baca, Greater, Greater Washington. July 1, 2019.
This map shows even more starkly how inequitably distributed DC’s affordable housing is. David Alpert, Greater Greater Washington. June 5, 2019.
DC will set targets for housing, including affordable housing, in all 8 wards by this fall. David Alpert, Greater Greater Washington. May 13, 2019.
READ MORE: Recent articles in the local press that address the affordable housing challenge –_______________________________________
And we pray for those in positions of civic authority, servants of all the people. May their compassion, understanding and just actions lead to a city that measures its greatness by the care it provides for its people in need.
Rev. John Graham, Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown ______________________________________________