D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced this week the city’s plans to close and demolish the troubled D.C. General Hospital campus in Southeast, which for years has served as a homeless shelter for families and individuals.
In a Bowser statement issued Sunday, she said buildings on the 67-acre campus will be razed beginning in April, with complete closure of the facility expected by the end of the year:
On Sunday, January 21, I announced that in 2018 we will close DC General once and for all, moving forward with our plan to replace the shelter with smaller, service-enriched programs throughout all eight wards. This closure has been a long time coming, and it is what our families deserve.
While closing DC General is a huge step forward for our city and progress we can be proud of, there is more work to do to ensure all District residents have a fair shot at pathways to the middle class. We must continue the reforms we are making to our homeless services system. These reforms have helped thousands of families avoid a shelter stay over the past three years, connected more than 3,300 single adults to permanent housing, and led to a 22 percent reduction in family homelessness between 2016 and 2017.
We must continue to create good-paying jobs while investing in our workforce training programs. The unemployment rate is down, and as we continue to create job training and apprenticeship programs that work better for residents and businesses, we need to ensure that Washingtonians know about and are taking advantage of these opportunities.
And we must continue to invest in affordable housing so that residents of all backgrounds can continue to live and thrive in Washington, DC. For the past three years, my Administration has made unprecedented investments in our Housing Production Trust Fund, investing $100 million each year. These investments have helped spark the creation or preservation of more than 10,400 affordable units, with another 2,900 on the way.
Bowser said she has joined a bipartisan group of mayors and CEOs from across the country to launch the Mayors & CEOs for U.S. Housing Investment, a first-of-its-kind coalition of local government and business leaders who will work together to get more people the resources they need to secure affordable housing.