D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie voiced his concerns about a federal report criticizing the practices of the D.C. Housing Authority.
The 72-page report by the Department of U.S. Housing and Urban Development said the agency is failing in several areas, from federal violations and mismanagement of funds to resident safety.
“The analysis of DCHA and the discovery of 82 deficiencies is deeply disturbing,” said McDuffie, who sits on the council’s Committee on Housing and Executive Administration chaired by Anita Bonds (D-At Large). “DCHA provides housing for some of the District’s most vulnerable residents and they should have access to quality housing, free of lead paint, faulty plumbing and mold.”
McDuffie said affordable housing is one of the city’s “major challenges.”
“I’ve been an advocate for creating a more affordable, equitable, and safe place for our residents,” he said. “Learning that 1 in 4 of DCHA’s 8,000 physical units has gone unoccupied is extremely disappointing, as there are many District residents who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
“Quality housing is a human right and it is my expectation that DCHA will provide a detailed response by the Nov. 30 deadline with a plan to immediately improve housing conditions for residents,” the Ward 5 council member added.
Council member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), who also sits on the housing committee with McDuffie and Bonds, told WTTG-TV (Channel 5) that she is working on legislation that will, among other things, diversify the DCHA board and require the agency to submit monthly spending reports.
McDuffie, Bonds and Silverman are leading candidates in the Nov. 8 general election for two of the council’s at-large seats.