Troubles for D.C.'s Building Repair Program

A Washington D.C. project to clean up and repair dilapidated buildings in the city is coming under scrutiny for shoddy work and millions of dollars in public money that are virtually unaccounted for.

"The project was among hundreds of repair jobs subsidized in recent years by a $30 million fund established to rid the District of dangerous, dilapidated properties."

"As tenants across the city complain of squalid conditions, the DCRA is struggling to account for the millions it has spent."

"Records show the agency has repeatedly directed jobs to small home-improvement contractors without business licenses, in some cases for costly projects at empty buildings. Years later, haphazard oversight and record-keeping at the DCRA make it difficult to track what projects were ordered, whether the city paid a fair price, or how much work was done."

"The fund is a crucial piece of the city's efforts to protect renters in rotting buildings. Because of a thriving real estate market, landlords in the past four years emptied hundreds of rent-controlled apartments, then made millions of dollars by converting the apartments to condominiums. Some landlords forced renters out by refusing to make repairs; city inspectors have chronicled more than 3,000 housing-code violations, including leaks, broken stoves and toilets, cracked walls and no electricity, at newly vacant buildings."

Full Story: Little to Show for the Price

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
$105