Housing Complex

Want More District Residents Employed? Try Enforcing Current Laws.


Employed 234 fewer District residents than it should have.

Michael Niebauer reports today that city agencies have failed to enforce the four-year-old First Source and Living Wage laws, which require developers of projects using city funds to employ district residents and pay them over $12 an hour. He writes:

Only four of 16 development projects that [D.C. Auditor Deborah Nichols] reviewed met the 51 percent hiring requirement. The 12 that did not, including DC USA, Kenyon Square and the Mandarin Oriental hotel, amounted to 361 jobs and $14.3 million in earnings lost. While that is an estimated figure, Nichols wrote, “it shows the type of economic fortune that could have occurred for the District and its residents had District agency officials and developers been more committed to FSA laws and processes.”

Many councilmembers, from Harry Thomas to Jack Evans to Vince Gray, have complained about the fact that so few of D.C.'s jobs actually go to District residents, taking their earnings home to the suburbs. New legislation is in the offing to at least tax their income before they leave Washington. As reasonable an idea as that may be, it seems like making an effort to enforce existing laws meant to do just that would be a good first step.
  • Manor

    Given that so many DC residents don't look for a job beyond their front porch, perhaps some employment education and discussion of "work ethic" might be in order as well?

    The way these arrangements work is that the employer promises to try to hire DC residents, then invariably shows that few DC residents are applying or are qualified, and thus under the terms of the original agreement they can then hire outside of DC. The problem is not with the employers!!

  • maserfentyaintnogood

    I am not surprised when you do not committ the resources to enforce the law, you get your desired results. The developers-----No Dc residents are wanted.

  • Typical DC BS

    Well, considering DC is a haven for illegal immigrants, who do you think performs all the work at development sites in the city? Maybe if the federal government bothered to do worksite raids, like they do in other states, some jobs would open up for LEGAL DC residents.

    Then again, jobs usually require employees who can read and write above an 8th grade level, showing up on time every day and the ability to work hard without whining and complaining.