Robert White: Wardman “Missed Opportunity” for Affordable Housing
Ward 3 Housing Justice | Wardman Hotel Strategy Team |
Northwest Opportunity Partners CDC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 15, 2021
Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mayoral candidate Robert White declared last Sunday November 7 at a meet & greet for his campaign that using the former Wardman hotel site in Woodley Park for a significant amount of affordable housing in Ward 3/West of Rock Creek Park was a “missed opportunity.”
The at-large councilmember’s statement was in response to a question from Margaret Dwyer of Ward 3 Housing Justice (W3HJ), a group advocating for more affordable housing in Ward 3. She handed him her letter, published that day in The Washington Post, which challenged all mayoral candidates to “take concrete actions right now to take a bite out of housing segregation and inequity’’ in Ward 3. This includes tangible proposals for affordable housing at the Wardman as well at sites such as the former Lord and Taylor store in Friendship Heights.
W3HJ and the Wardman Hotel Strategy Team (WHST) have been pushing the Bowser administration and the Council to buy the 1100 room former Marriott Wardman Hotel for affordable housing since its owners declared bankruptcy in January. Instead, Mayor Bowser, saying it was too costly, passed on the auction and real estate investment firm Carmel Properties won, intending, it appears, to use the property for luxury housing. W3HJ has asked mayoral candidate Muriel Bowser to fulfill Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio’s promise to “maximize the residential potential of the site with an emphasis on affordable housing and attainable, middle-income housing” and reverse the “missed opportunity.” To date the Bowser campaign has not responded. “It’s time for the Bowser administration to bring its power into negotiations with the new owner. We don’t want generalizations and vague promises. We need immediate, concrete action,” said Reginald Black, Coordinator of the Wardman Hotel Strategy Team.
WHST and W3HJ continue to work with all candidates and interested parties, including EmpowerDC, and People Power Action to bring affordable housing to the Wardman and Ward 3. This includes community outreach that shows wide support for the idea, and a strong resolution from the Ward 3 Dems.
Save the Date: Join the Wardman for Affordable Housing public rally on November 21, 2021, Saturday 1:00 PM, at the corner of Connecticut Ave. and Calvert St. NW, followed by a march to the Wardman (2660 Woodley Rd. NW). The WHST, W3HJ and allies call on the mayor and Carmel to act.
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