Recently, a ULI Advisory Services panel made recommendations to Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser on increasing the supply of affordable housing in the Rock Creek West Planning District, one of D.C.’s most affluent areas. The panel visited the city July 7–12, 2019.
The panel assignment stemmed from the mayor’s plan to provide 36,000 housing units across the city by 2025, with 12,000 being low- and moderate-income units. Panelists evaluated how to distribute the affordable housing units more equitably across the city, with a specific focus on the placement of units in the Rock Creek West area.
The panel focused on strategies to:
- Streamline and improve development processes;
- Gain community support through outreach, marketing, and education, and
- Increase housing supply.
At the conclusion of the panel’s visit, initial recommendations were made to representatives from the mayor’s office and other local government officials. The panel noted that the following are ready for immediate action:
- Create and implement a communication plan and a community education plan.
- Promote development of auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs) and the creation of an ADU assistance program.
- Begin a conversation with the faith-based community regarding the use of land for low-income housing development and assistance in advocacy efforts.
- Establish forums for public discussion of the issues of race, institutional bias, and the impact of racially biased programs on housing access.