If you have been following the news lately, you know we have a serious crisis on our hands when it comes to affordable housing. A couple of weeks ago, a federal audit found that 1 in 4 of the 8,000 public housing units in the District are currently unoccupied. 1 in 4. It gets worse. A more recent audit by our own Inspector General found that the District left $60 million on the table that could have been provided as rental assistance for low-income residents, including during the height of the pandemic. <[link removed]>
One of the reasons I joined the Housing Committee was from my own experience as the Ward 5 Councilmember. I received an email about the conditions of a public housing property in the Ward and saw first-hand that they were unacceptable. I repeatedly followed up with the residents and Housing Authority to make sure the property and rental units were restored once again to proper conditions. While I was happy to see the necessary repairs being made, it should never have taken an elected official’s intervention for it to happen in the first place. <[link removed]>
DC residents deserve quality affordable housing, which is critical to helping families realize economic stability and create a safe and healthy environment for the next generation. But it should not take a report during an election session for officials to understand the deplorable conditions in which some of our city’s most vulnerable residents are forced to live and act upon it.
<[link removed]>WATCH HERE <[link removed]>
Since I joined the Council, I have authored landmark legislation and fought alongside residents and advocates to create greater access to quality affordable housing by: <[link removed]>
- establishing a local low-income tax credit, which mirrors the federal one, to subsidize the production of affordable rental housing in DC;
- requiring developers to build affordable units at various income levels when District-owned land is purchased for residential development, including 30% of the units must be affordable when built near transit;
- dedicating half of our annual budget surpluses – to the tune of $100s of millions of dollars per year – to the Housing Production Trust Fund, which is the District’s most effective tool to finance the building and preservation of affordable housing through non-profit and profit organizations; and
- providing low-income residents free legal representation during eviction proceedings in court.
I am proud of my record on affordable housing <[link removed]>, which goes beyond campaign platitudes or making empty promises a month before your vote. If elected At-Large, I will continue to work on real solutions that help to create greater access to quality, safe, affordable housing for all residents, regardless of income level. Together, we will make the District a place all families can be proud to call home. <[link removed]>
Paid for by Kenyan McDuffie 2022, 1408 Montague St NW Washington, DC 20011. Antonio Hunter, Treasurer. A copy of our report is filed with the Director of Campaign Finance of the District of Columbia Board of Elections.