"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)
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.
Current Park Morton Housing Complex
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.
Park Morton Redevelopment: Phase I
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.