How the Centerpiece of D.C.'s Affordable Housing Efforts Became a Catastrophe

In an in-depth article, Robert Samuels examines the "oversights, missteps and missed opportunities" that have turned the New Communities Initiative - imagined as "the centerpiece of the District’s affordable-housing efforts" - into a train wreck.

Yesterday, we looked at what nonprofit groups, faith-based organizations, and local governments are doing right to help create or preserve affordable housing in the D.C. region. Today we bring you a story that explores the pitfalls Washignton D.C. has encountered when it has dreamt big about how to "revitalize a community without replacing it, how to create a place for prosperous newcomers without pushing out poor old-timers."

The subject of this story is The New Communities Initiative, a plan to "marshal hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private investment" to remake the city's Temple Courts neighborhood as a mixed income enclave that "would serve as a template for remaking other violent neighborhoods in the District."

"Instead," says Samuels, "New Communities has shown how hard it is to make affordable housing work in the modern American city and how easy it was to let a program that was the centerpiece of the District’s affordable-housing efforts unravel."

Full Story: In District, affordable-housing plan hasn’t delivered

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET