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


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