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Enthusiastic July 4th Crowd, Petition Signers & Ward 3 Dems Support

Updated: Jul 20

Mendelson, Falcicchio, Wattenberg Pressed on Wardman Conversion


Ward 3 Housing Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2021

Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845, gsonnemann@gmail.com



Members of Ward 3 Housing Justice (W3HJ) marched in the Fourth of July Palisades Parade to support affordable housing, specifically city acquisition of the bankrupt Wardman Hotel in Woodley Park for conversion to mixed income housing to help meet the city’s affordable housing crisis.

Despite the enthusiastic support from the parade crowd, 500+ signers of an online petition and the voice vote of the Ward 3 Democrats, top DC leaders participating in the parade -- Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio – declined to lend their support for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in conversations afterwards. John Falcicchio, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, repeated his previous lack of direct involvement, saying, “I believe I referred that to Polly Donaldson,” the mayor's housing director who has toured the site but been unavailable for follow-up meetings.

Ruth Wattenberg, president of the State Board of Education and Ward 3's representative on the SBOE did express interest in the potential that the Wardman conversion might have to open up additional DCPS classroom space and asked for more information.

"We are disappointed that Chairman Mendelson, Deputy Mayor Falcicchio and Mayor Bowser herself refuse to step up and seize this lifetime opportunity to create an economically and racially diverse community to help solve the city's housing crisis," said Meg Maguire, member of W3HJ. "The first step is a simple call to delay the July 20 Wardman auction so that the city has time to act; the second step is to ask Pacific Life to help fund affordable housing through its own charitable bond program.”

Many Ward 3 residents support affordable housing, but without city leadership to work out a deal, the mayor’s words ring hollow."

Read more at the Ward 3 Housing Justice petition site.

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