When Muriel Bowser was campaigning for the office of mayor of the District of Columbia, affordable housing was one of the big issues of he platform. The D.C. area, with all of the economic growth, influx of people, and new construction that we've experienced over the past decade, has seen a massive increase in costs of living, and that is forcing a lot of long-term D.C. residents out of a city that they can no longer afford. "As a candidate," writes Jonathan O'Connell for The Washington Post, "Bowser vowed to spend $100 million annually from the city’s Housing Production Trust Fund as a way of slowing the breakneck pace at which the city’s housing stock is being turned into typically smaller, luxury units often costing well in excess of $2,000 a month."
Now, some of that campaign promise is being realized. On Friday, Mayor Bowser announced that $106.3 million is being distributed to 6 new construction projects and 13 rehabilitations across the area. As O'Connell reports, "Bowser’s office said the money would build or preserve about 1,200 units at below market rates by funding developments shepherded by a series of nonprofit, for-profit and private developers." A good amount of that, nearly $53 million, will go to three new developments—the 99-unit Beacon Center, the 50-unit Plaza West, and the 178-unit Conway Center on Benning Road NE that will house homeless families. (Reforming the homeless shelter system is another big piece of Bowser's platform.)
Read Jonathan O'Connell's full story at The Washington Post here.