Council Candidates Support Acquisition Fund for Affordable Housing
Ward 3 Housing Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 28, 2022
Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 3 Housing Justice (W3HJ) asked candidates for City Council what concrete actions they would take to enable the city to acquire property for affordable housing in high-opportunity, high-cost areas. W3HJ asked whether and how they would work to enact and fund the Northwest Opportunity Partners’ (NWOP) proposal for the Affordable Housing Property Acquisition Fund for FY 2024 (AHPAF). With a dedicated acquisition program and fund like this in place, the city and nonprofit developers will be in a position to move quickly when property becomes available and to garner the significant affordable housing outcomes which have not happened to date in private, investor-driven and matter of right development.
All eleven candidates who responded stated their support for the fund offering a variety of actions they would take to make it a reality.
Six Ward 3 council candidates responded and expressed support.
Beau Finley said that he would “gladly introduce and lobby for AHPAF legislation.”
Monte Monash said she would support AHPAF and would “work with community leaders, private developers and DC government to establish the lending pool with protected matched funds from the DC budget to acquire land.”
Matt Frumin said he would “lobby the Executive to find a way to include funding in the budget", or “explore whether the Council could find funding.”
Deirdre Brown said an acquisition fund “is imperative if we are going to reach our affordable housing goals."
Ben Bergmann replied saying “I support creating an acquisition fund.”
Tricia Duncan called the Fund “a great idea”.
Eric Goulet, Phil Thomas, and Henry Cohen did not respond to the questionnaire.
All At-large candidates expressed support:
Dexter Williams said he would work with Ward 3 Housing Justice to develop model legislation for an acquisition fund to enable the purchase of private property for affordable housing.
Lisa Gore said she would “work with the Council to determine the public-private partnerships that would be required to leverage implementation of the fund”, and “work with the Housing Committee to hold hearings on establishing the fund.”
Nate Fleming said he would introduce legislation, or sign-on to a bill already introduced, "to establish the acquisition fund.”
Anita Bonds said the acquisition fund “is an initiative I will support” and said “the District should proceed with a pilot demonstration proof of concept.”
Erin Palmer, running for Council Chair, said her proposed DC Council Accountability Plan would "help move forward consideration of an acquisition fund." Phil Mendelssohn did not respond to the questionnaire.
Citing the small amount of affordable housing produced by developers in Ward 3 through Inclusionary Zoning, the high cost of land, and the lack of public land on which to build housing for people who work in the area, the NW Opportunity Partners CDC (NWOP) and Ward 3 Housing Justice (W3HJ) urged the Mayor and the Council to create a $100 million Affordable Housing Property Acquisition Fund for FY 2024 (AHPAF) in March 2022. NWOP and W3HJ will continue to work with council, administration, and housing partners to ensure this is enacted in council year 2023.
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