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Cheh Asked on Kojo About Affordable Housing at Wardman

Ward 3 Housing Justice | Wardman Hotel Strategy Team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 14, 2021

Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845,

CM Cheh at Wardman Rally on November 20, 2021

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh was asked by a listener on Friday’s Politics Hour on WAMU what she is doing to bring affordable housing to the former Wardman Hotel in Woodley Park. Referring to increasing density in the ward in the just-passed Comprehensive Plan, she said “we're going to do…everything we can to try to make sure that there is affordable housing included … at Chevy Chase, at Friendship Heights and the Wardman property.”

In response, Ward 3 Housing Justice and the Wardman Hotel Strategy Team are issuing the following statement:

We welcome the councilmember’s statement that she will do “everything we can” to bring affordable housing to these sites, including the Wardman. However, we want to remind her that the city missed the critical opportunity to buy the Wardman at bankruptcy, and jumpstart bringing affordable housing to Ward 3, pushing beyond the current mechanisms of matter-of-right/PUD/IZ that have failed to produce the affordable housing the city needs. In fact, the current tools that the administration relies on have produced zero new units of affordable housing in Rock Creek West.

This is why we’ve asked the councilmember to arrange a meeting with the new owners, Carmel Partners. We want to directly impress upon Carmel our commitment, and the city’s, to create a project where workers and other low/moderate income DC residents can live in a mixed income community that is integrated into the fabric of Woodley Park.

Carmel’s response to Councilmember Cheh was to tell her to wait 30 days for a meeting and to view their project on their forthcoming web site This response hardly reflects the openness we are looking for from Carmel and the importance of the direct request from Councilmember Cheh. We will continue to insist that/Councilmember Cheh press for an early meeting with Carmel.

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