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Metro Brief: Mayor Bowser, DC Housing and Community Development kick off Ward by Ward meetings

District of Columbia

On April 19, 2015
Polly Donaldson

Donaldson will now oversee the agency making affordable
housing for D.C. residents.

To build pathways to a middle class, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) have kicked off their three-month “DHCD Ward-by-Ward Check-In.”

The first meeting was last Wednesday at THEARC on Mississippi Avenue in Ward 8.

These meetings are designed to seek suggestions from community residents to help shape the future of affordable housing throughout the District. The mayor and agency are are also seeking to inform residents, business owners and other community residents of the DHCD’s programs and services, current and future projects and the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 affordable housing budget.

“These forums continue our commitment to ensuring that residents and community leaders have a seat at table in shaping the future of Washington, D.C.,” said Mayor Bowser. “Ward by ward, we will engage residents, address their affordable housing needs and invest in the resources that will help build more pathways to the middle class.”

The meetings will provide a platform for communities to voice their concerns, ask questions and give suggestions on what housing and community development needs are in their neighborhoods. Agency leaders will be on hand at the meetings to discuss the Housing Production Trust Fund and other resources available to developers and community residents to ensure affordable housing.

Bowser discussed in her State of the District address that the the housing trust fund would be funded at $100 million during FY 2016 and beyond, delivering on an important campaign promise that has received unanimous support from the D.C. Council. The fund is critical to the District’s plans to end chronic homelessness and support affordable housing in the city.

“It is DHCD’s goal to continue to build strong relationships with our partnerships to better understand the housing and resource needs of our communities,” said DHCD Director Polly Donaldson, who was confirmed by the DC Council and officially appointed by Bowser last month.

“At the end of the series we hope to have a clearer understanding of the various housing and community development needs ward-by-ward and neighborhood-by-neighborhood. This information will help the agency effectively plan the best approaches for creating opportunities, preserving valuable resources, and building enduring communities throughout the District.”

Agency leaders met first with Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners a few weeks ago to announce the community meeting series and learn about top priorities in their  neighborhoods. The series began in Ward 8; Ward 7 met Tuesday and the series will conclude in late June in Ward 1. Below is a full listing of meetings.

Ward 6
April 30, 2015/ 6:30-8:30 pm
SE Neighborhood Library (403 7th Street, SE)

Ward 5
May 14, 2015/ 6:30-8:30 pm
Dunbar High School (101 N Street, NW)

Ward 4
May 28, 2015/ 6:30-8:30 pm
Coolidge Sr. High School (6315 5th Street, NW)

Ward 3
June 11, 2015/ 6:30-8:30 pm
Tenley/Friendship Library (4450 Wisconsin Avenue, NW)

Ward 2
June 18, 2015/ 6:30-8:30 pm
MLK Memorial Library (901 G Street, NW)

Ward 1
June 22, 2015/ 6:30-8:30 pm
Greater Washington Urban League (2901 14th Street, NW)

For more information please visit the DHCD website at http://dhcd.dc.gov.

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