As our city continues to grow and change, we need to make sure our neighborhoods remain accessible to everyone who wishes to call them home. Elderly residents living on a fixed income must be able to age in place without having to worry about being priced out of the home they love. Public housing must be safe, and we must expedite the transition to units that are integrated into our communities so residents are not isolated from their neighbors, or located in areas where access to reliable transportation and safe schools is limited. We need to make sure our homeless neighbors have safe, reliable housing so they can have a chance to get back on their feet.
Middle income families should not be forced to expand their real estate searches into Virginia and Maryland simply because they are unable to find an affordable family home in DC. Improving the first-time homeowner program by enforcing the requirements that buyers remain in their home for five years - and clawing back funds given to those who don’t so it can be redirected to buyers who play by the rules - is a good start.
We must also increase enforcement of tenant rights to make sure renters have access to high-quality rental units, and immediate recourse should they find they’ve rented from an absentee landlord. Our community is filled with long-time residents who do not own homes, and we need to ensure they're treated fairly and not priced out. Unfortunately, the DC Council recently voted to strip tenants of their rights and make it harder for low-income residents to remain in their homes. I believe we should be doing the opposite.
Our housing policies, from top to bottom, must embrace everyone. Nobody should be forced to leave their neighborhood because they cannot access safe affordable housing that meets their current and future needs.