District of Columbia Executive Office of the Mayor

12/06/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/06/2019 17:40

Bowser Administration to Lead Town Hall on Housing Equity in the District

(Washington, DC) - On Saturday, December 7, at 12:30 p.m., the Bowser Administration, led by the DC Office of Planning (OP) and the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), will host a public conversation to discuss how bold housing goals set by Mayor Bowser will advance housing equity and disrupt the historic impact of housing segregation in the District.

'Earlier this year we made DC among the first cities in the nation to set neighborhood-specific affordable housing goals - part of our larger strategy to build a more equitable and affordable city by adding 36,000 new homes by 2025. Now we need to work together across all eight wards to reach our goals,' said Mayor Bowser. 'We have heard from residents in every part of DC that they want to be part of the solution. Joining these conversations is one way Washingtonians can get involved and advocate for policies and solutions that reflect our DC values.'

The discussion is free and open to the public and will take place at Woodrow Wilson High School (3950 Chesapeake Street, NW). The event will immediately follow OP's Ward 3 Comprehensive Plan engagement at 10:00 a.m. For more information on the Draft Comprehensive Plan amendment process, visit: plandc.dc.gov.

The conversation will explore the impact of historic federal and local exclusionary and racially discriminatory land use policies and how the continued legacy of these policies impacts residents' economic opportunity. In May, Mayor Bowser signed a Mayor's Order directing District agencies to identify new policies, tools, and initiatives to begin fulfilling her bold goal of creating 36,000 new housing units, 12,000 of them affordable, by 2025.

'OP is developing strategies for housing opportunities as ways to address historical inequity and advance opportunity through the Comprehensive Plan proposal and the Housing Equity Report,' said OP Director Andrew Trueblood. 'This event will provide important context for why increasing affordable housing and strengthening healthy neighborhoods in all parts of the District is essential to promoting equity, opportunity, and inclusive prosperity.'

In October, the Mayor released the Housing Equity Report and the District's draft Comprehensive Plan proposal. By establishing goals specific to each planning area of the city, the Housing Equity Report makes Washington, DC among the first cities in the nation to create area-specific goals for affordable housing and dedicate an entire initiative to examining the barriers and opportunities within each area.

The event includes a variety of housing and planning experts including Director Trueblood; Polly Donaldson, Director of the DC Department of Housing and Community Development; Neil Flanagan, Architectural Designer and Freelance Writer; Dr. Willow Lung-Amam, Associate Professor at University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation; David Williams, Policy Director at Harvard University's Opportunity Insights; and Don Edwards, Founder and CEO of Justice and Sustainability Associates, who will facilitate the conversation.