D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) took the city’s Housing Authority to task in the wake of a federal report strongly criticizing the management practices of the agency.
McDuffie, who sits on the council’s Committee on Housing and Executive Administration chaired by Anita Bonds (D-At Large), said he is well aware that affordable housing is one of the city’s most pressing issues but made it clear that incompetence in DCHA should not be tolerated.
“The D.C. Housing Authority provides housing for some of the District’s most vulnerable Black and brown residents and the unfortunate reality that many of those residents continue to lack safe and quality housing, with no end in sight, is deeply disturbing and unacceptable,” McDuffie, who chairs the council’s Committee on Business and Economic Development, said Tuesday. “It is further vexing that in a city with thousands of people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity, we are now the home to the lowest occupancy rate of any large public housing authority in the country. The HUD assessment echoes what my team and I have seen in walkthroughs of public housing developments throughout Ward 5.”
McDuffie, who is also competing with Bonds and six others in the Nov. 8 general election for one of two at-large council seats, said legislation dealing with the immediate issues that the Housing and Urban Development report pointed out won’t be enough to solve DCHA’s problems.
“To truly address these pressing issues, we must lay the groundwork for DCHA to reach a state of good repair and vastly improve occupancy,” he said. “That is why I will be convening a roundtable with the chief financial officer who will brief the public on DCHA’s long-term capital needs and facility condition assessments.”