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  • Jayme Epstein

Testimony before DCHA on changes to Greenleaf plan

Jayme Epstein

March 9, 2022

Good afternoon. My name is Jayme Epstein, and I’m a DC resident, speaking today on behalf of Ward 3 Housing Justice, a grassroots organization of residents from Ward 3 and across the city who organize for affordable housing in Ward 3. We are here today to stand in solidarity with Greenleaf residents, and, in so doing, we echo their calls for

  1. The Housing Authority to put Build First back on the table – as Ms. Bishop, President of the Greenleaf Midrise Resident Council has said, “no ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ or ‘buts’…”

  2. HUD to refuse to remove the Declaration of Trust from the Greenleaf sites, thereby ensuring the basic status of public housing to any redevelopment,

  3. The Housing Authority to cancel the redevelopment contract due to the many questions about procurement irregularities and cronyism, and

We also call for the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners to respond to the important and piercing questions raised by Chris Williams in his testimony of February 11, 2022 about the lack of transparency, execution of a relocation plan without HUD approval, substantial deviation from the request for proposals, allegations of involvement from the former executive director Tyrone Garrett, the existing affordable housing land covenants at Greenleaf, and how Greenleaf will make DCHA indefinitely non-compliant with the federal laws on Moving to Work public housing agencies.

We stand at a crossroads today for Greenleaf residents and for the District. Are we going to repeat the pattern of displacement, community destruction, and failure to rebuild in a timely manner that we have seen again and again in the past 20 years, from Arther Capper/Carrolsburg, to Temple Court, to Barry Farm? We have neighbors who have died waiting to be returned to their homes, and we stand with Greenleaf residents and say, “Not here. Not today. Protect the Greenleaf community.”

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