Housing and Development

"A lot of politicians are happy to sign legislation, take credit and then walk away after the photo opportunity. But when it comes to housing, I am in it from the beginning to the end and at every point in between." -- Kent Boese
 

Housing -- whether it be affordable, market rate, or somewhere in between -- is one of the issues that I hear about most from Ward 1 residents. There is no doubt that we need to continue to create housing at all levels of affordability, but I believe that the City should only use tax abatements and other incentives for the creation of deeply affordable housing for residents earning $30,000-$50,000 a year or less. 

Everyone agrees that we need more housing and often the discussion only focuses on the "when" and "where" we are going to create it. For the past 5 years chairing ANC1A, I have ever maintained my focus on the "how". During my time, I have helped guide the creation of over 1,000 new homes without displacing a single resident. When it comes to housing, I believe that we need to:

  • Embrace housing development strategies that do not displace our neighbors;
  • Continue to build housing for all income levels;
  • Only use tax abatements and incentives for creating deeply affordable housing;
  • Leverage District owned properties to create new housing that includes pathways to ownership;
  • Expand the concept of housing to include single room occupancy (SRO), Micro-apartments and even tiny houses; and,
  • Reign in District agencies' (DCRA and OTR) policies that only increase the overall cost of housing.

Park Morton (617 Morton St NW)

Testimonial from Park Morton Resident Council President, Shawn High

 

During my 8 years as an ANC Commissioner, I consider my advocacy to redevelop the Park Morton Housing Complex to be the most meaningful. I have fought alongside the residents of Park Morton since the Spring of 2013, when the original redevelopment efforts faltered. I played a pivotal role in getting the  project back on track by identifying the District-owned Bruce-Monroe site as a solution for the build-first (Phase I) site.

This project will not only preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities in Ward 1 but will play a vital role in supporting our existing small businesses and the future economic growth along the Georgia Avenue corridor. The Park Morton redevelopment project:

  • Preserves 147 low-income apartments.
  • ​Creates 155 new workforce housing opportunities.
  • Creates 78 new apartments for seniors on fixed incomes.
  • ​Includes 160 new market rate apartments.
  • ​Creates a permanent 1-acre park at Georgia Avenue and Columbia Road. 

My active participation helped get the Park Morton Redevelopment Project back on track by:

  • Working diligently with the Park Morton community, neighbors, and the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to create a successful plan to replace the aging Park Morton housing complex.
  • Serving on the Park Morton Redevelopment Steering Committee (October 2015 to present).
  • Drafting and passing resolutions in support of the Park Morton Project, which were approved by ANC1A (read ANC1A resolutions supporting Cases 16-11 and 16-12).
  • Testifying before the DC Council on November 28, 2016, at the surplus and disposition hearing for the building-first site (read testimony before DC Council here).
  • Testifying before the Zoning Commission on December 5, 2016, and December 8, 2016, in favor of the project (read testimony before Zoning Commission here). 

Hebrew Home for the Aged (1125 Spring Rd., NW)

My approved landmark nomination of the former Hebrew Home building, paired with a zoning map amendment, is creating 187 new apartments in the housing pipeline with 80% of the units being targeted for middle- and low-income residents, including 90 senior apartments.  

 

Kent Boese on Compatible Neighborhood Housing & Development - Part 1

 

Kent Boese on Compatible Neighborhood Housing & Development - Part 2


Additional Reading

"I support establishing dedicated funding for the Public Housing Repair Fund. The condition of many of the District’s public housing units are deplorable, and the failure to keep them in good repair, well maintained, and modern is inexcusable."

Boese, Kent. (2018, April 13). Candidate QuestionnaireJews United for Justice Campaign Fund.

 

"Those supporting the amendments want “affordable” housing to be the most important priority for DC and those opposed to the amendments care deeply about neighborhood “character” and don’t want it destroyed by development. During the testimony both points of view were presented as if this is a binary choice … but this is false. We can do both."

Boese, Kent. (2018, April 6). Candidate QuestionnaireD.C. Chapter of the Sierra Club. 

 

"Because the rent control law already outlines how much rents may increase for new residents in rent-controlled buildings, closing the loophole of voluntary agreements makes sense."

Boese,Kent. (2018, February 9). Candidate Questionnaire. DC for Democracy.

 

“...Boese notes that “as neighborhoods start to thrive, that impacts the tax base,” inching up rents for existing tenants. Finding a middle ground, he says, is a tough balance...”

Hester, Jessica Leigh. (2016, November 17). Encouraging Neighbors to See Eye to Eye. CityLab.

 

"Things have gotten off-kilter, and we’ve lost sight of family-sized housing, kid-friendly neighborhoods,” said Kent, talking about the trickle-down effects these things have on decisions. “This puts stresses that don’t need to be here on the neighborhoods, and takes away opportunities from other parts of the city.” 

Abdelaziz, Zina. (2016, December 21). Walking the walk in Park View: Talking with ANC Commissioner Kent Boese. Petworth News [Blog].

 

“...Boese notes that “as neighborhoods start to thrive, that impacts the tax base,” inching up rents for existing tenants. Finding a middle ground, he says, is a tough balance...”

Hester, Jessica Leigh. (2016, November 17). Encouraging Neighbors to See Eye to Eye. CityLab.

 

"Boese, chair of ANC 1A, says there’s money to be made in flipping houses. “But in the long term, I’m not so sure it’s helping the health of the community,” he cautions. “I think it does have a certain amount of destabilizing effect,” resulting in prohibitive cost barriers."

Giambrone, Andrew, (2016, August 11). Withering Heights: Playground shootouts, bleach attacks, and overpriced housing: Columbia Heights in declineWashington City Paper.

 

“I would like to see every unit (if possible) be ADA compliant; as units become vacant in the future it would be ideal if any resident in need of housing would be able to move into the building and not be prevented due to the unit’s configuration.”

Boese, Kent. (2016, April 18). The first two efforts to turn Petworth's Hebrew Home into housing failed. Will the third time be different? Greater Greater Washington [Blog].

 

“Developers may not even want to create a PUD if a small D.C.-owned parcel of land is adjacent to it, according to Kent Boese, chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A.” 

Goldchain, Michelle. (2015, April 20). Concerns Rising over New Affordable Housing Law. Curbed [Blog].

 

“Pop-ups are one of the challenges we’re facing,” Boese said. “They change the character of a street, and many are incongruous with their surrounding neighborhood. There are members of the community that support them and others that want to stop them. Ultimately, we need to find a reasonable middle ground.”

Hoffer, Audrey. (2015, April 10). Why you should live in Park View. The Washington Post.

 

“Many of us who live in rowhouse neighborhoods — whether lifelong Washingtonians or recently arrived — chose to live in them because of their attractive architecture, because the housing is large enough to raise a family in, and/or because the density allows neighbors to get to know each other resulting in a strong sense of community,” [Boese] said.

Austermuhle, Martin. (2015, January 26). What's Up With Pop-Ups? Here's A Primer On A Debate That's Reaching New HeightsWAMU 88.5 26.

 

Wiener, Aaron. (2014, April 30). Why Is Overhauling the Park Morton Public Housing Complex So Difficult? Washington City Paper.

Giambrone, Andrew. (2017, July 27). How an Unofficial Park Became the Crucible in D.C.'s Long-Stalled Public Housing Reboot. Washington City Paper.

Boese, Kent. (2016, May 23). Zoning Cases Filed for Park Morton Development EffortPark View DC [Blog]

 

 

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