Ward 3 Group Urges CM Bonds to Act on Housing Bills and 73 Sign Petition at Wardman Rally
Ward 3 Housing Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 23, 2021
Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845, firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of Ward 3 Housing Justice (W3HJ) are urging Councilmember Anita Bonds, chair of the DC Council’s housing committee, to hold public hearings in the next two weeks on pending legislation to add performance, transparency, and accountability requirements for the embattled Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). This request was reinforced at the Wardman for Affordable Housing rally this past Saturday by 73 DC citizens, from all wards, who signed an open letter calling on Councilmember Bonds to act.
The HPTF, which received $400 million in new money for 2022, was the subject of a recent highly critical report by Inspector General Daniel Lucas. The report cited the HPTF’s failure to meet legally required targets for funding deeply affordable housing; and the misdirection of tax dollars to housing projects for higher-income households, in direct contradiction of the HPTF’s legal mandate.
In response to the grave failings identified by Inspector General Lucas, Councilmembers have introduced three reform bills:
The HPTF Income Targeting Accountability Amendment Act of 2021
The HPTF Affordability Levels Amendment Enforcement Act of 2021
CM Bonds did hold a hearing on HPTF deficiencies, but with only government witnesses, mostly from the HPTF itself. There were no public witnesses. Thus the first step would be to hold an open-to-all hearing with live public testimony on these reform bills and then lead the Council to pass meaningful reform that would include transparency of progress toward targets and true accountability for meeting the targets at every reporting period.
“The need is urgent. Misdirection of funding for households living on low incomes costs our neighbors their health, well-being, and even their lives,” said Margaret Dwyer of Ward 3 Housing Justice. “CM Bonds must show the leadership of which she is capable.”
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