DC Council Votes to Commit $30 Million to Urgent Repairs for Public Housing

Ward 6 is home to the most public housing in the District, including Greenleaf Gardens

During today’s first vote by the DC Council on the FY20 budget, the Council committed $30 million to funding urgently needed repairs to affordable housing units in public housing complexes. The money would be transferred out of Events DC’s reserves, which currently hold around $200 million in reserves above the amount it needs to meet its financial obligations.

“I am proud to be working closely with Chairman Mendelson and my colleagues to find a way to fund urgent repairs in our public housing units,” said Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6). “Ward 6 has the most public housing units in the District for families and residents of all ages and these deeply affordable homes are critical to ensuring DC remains a place everyone can call home. But the federal government has abandoned its maintenance obligations nationwide, leaving it to us to address the failure to fund basic and critical repairs. So this is a start, but certainly not a long-term fix.”

Councilmember Allen also included funding for the Office of the Attorney General to add a full-time attorney working on prosecuting housing code violations, including holding the District’s largest landlord, the District of Columbia’s Housing Authority, accountable for making repairs in a timely manner.

Last month, the DC Housing Authority released a request for proposals to redevelop Greenleaf Gardens. Councilmember Allen has pushed to ensure any re-development follows a “Build First” model that ensures Greenleaf residents will not be displaced and can move into a new apartment directly from where they currently live.

“The redevelopment of Greenleaf is a long-term solution which will take years to complete. And Greenleaf is hardly the only complex in need of immediate repair, which is why we need to make this investment of $30 million now. Public housing represents the District’s most important source of deeply-affordable housing in the District,” said Councilmember Allen.

In regards to concerns raised around certifying the budget, Councilmember Allen added “We will be working with the Chief Financial Officer to address any questions. It is very likely that Events DC should be getting Council approval to hold any excess reserves in the first place.”

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