Mayoral Housing Initiative Would Spread Affordable Housing Around D.C.

Planners are expected to play a major role in an ambitious housing initiative proposed by Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

1 minute read

May 14, 2019, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Washington, D.C.

The Wharf, a major redevelopment project in the Southwest Waterfront, completed at the end of 2017. | Stephen B. Goodwin / Shutterstock

David Alpert reports that Mayor Muriel Bowser has released details of a plan to add equitably distribute new housing units around Washington, D.C.

Mayor's Order 2019-036 [pdf] "direct[s] District agencies to identify new policies, tools, and initiatives to begin fulfilling her bold goal of creating 36,000 new housing units, 12,000 of them affordable, by 2025."

The directive provides more details on a housing plan first announced in Mayor Bowser's second inaugural address, delivered at the beginning of the year.  

The D.C. Office of Planning would play a major role in the proposed housing initiative. Alpert explains:

 A significant part of the order directs the Office of Planning to look at the amount of housing, both subsidized affordable and market-rate, which has been built in each of DC's 10 "planning areas," which are similar to wards but have two more and don't change with each Census.

Then, the Office of Planning will define "fair share targets" by September 2019 for housing, including for creating new affordable housing and preserving what's already there. The goal is to "create an equitable distribution of affordable housing across the District" by 2045.

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