Housing Complex

New Affordable Housing Bill…To Pass or Not To Pass?

Today's Washington Post includes a story about a D.C. council meeting on a new affordable housing bill sponsored by Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry. The bill would put either $100 million or 15 percent of the deed taxes, whichever is higher, into a special trust fund for affordable housing each year.

The fund is projected to take in just $29 million this fiscal year—a far cry from $57 million of fiscal year 2007.

Roughly 85 people showed up to the hearing. Mayor Adrian Fenty did not send a representative, which apparently pissed off Barry. Asked to respond on behalf of Fenty, spokesperson Mafara Hobson said "the administration submitted written testimony from Leila Finucane Edmonds, director of the Department of Housing and Community Development." Here's what it said:

"The Housing Production Trust Fund is a valuable mechanism by which we can support the production and preservation of affordable housing," Edmonds wrote. "However, due to economic times, we do not believe that the proposed [bill] is a sound alternative."

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