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W3 Advocates Call Housing Authority Action 'Outrageous'

Elimination of Long-standing 'Build First' Policy Proposed

Ward 3 Housing Justice


Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845,

To the Board of Commissioners of the DC Housing Authority,

The Ward 3 Housing Justice (W3HJ) grassroots advocacy group urges you, in the strongest terms possible, to oppose the resolution to eliminate the Build First provision from the Greenleaf Gardens redevelopment plan. It is outrageous to breach a long standing core commitment, especially when doing so will result in displacement of residents.

Reasons to vote NO:

  • Greenleaf residents spent years negotiating this commitment, in order to ensure they would have continuity of housing during the redevelopment. Now the city proposes to remove it, without guaranteeing any displacement protection

  • To obtain the cooperation of Greenleaf residents in exchange for the Building First commitment, and then renege on that commitment, reflects bad faith on the part of city officials

  • According to reports by affected individuals, displacement and homelessness have already begun at Greenleaf.

  • The proposed resolution appears to violate federal law, e.g. units remain empty, and redevelopment is proceeding without HUD approval.

“As Ward 3 residents, we want the same level of housing security that we have to be had by all, and we stand with our neighbors at the Greenleaf, as well as the many community organizations opposing this resolution,” said Anne Murphy of W3HJ. “Please vote no.”

“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/Carrollsburg, to Temple Court, to Barry Farm?” said W3HJ member, Carol Aten. “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 by voting no’.”

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