BFC attorney Samantha Beckett questions whether DC’s policy is aligned with DC’s stated values on affordable housing, and she calls for long-term housing solutions for families experiencing homelessness.
BFC Managing Attorney Rebecca Lindhurst testified on Thursday, April 19th to the DC City Council regarding the proposal to sever functions of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and create a new Department of Buildings. Part of the function that will move is the division managing tenant inspections. Advocates are concerned that (even with the severing of the agency) tenants will still face the same problems with getting inspections and having the agency follow through and properly enforce the housing code. Lindhurst’s testimony focuses on a specific Tenant Protection Division.
Earlier this year, Bread for the City community members testified to how DCRA’s inadequate enforcement led to residents living in poor conditions. Through our organizing to hold DCRA accountable to its mission, we’ve developed demands for DC council members and Mayor Bowser.
Yesterday, the DC Council unanimously passed the Fair Criminal Record Screening for Housing Act (“Housing Ban the Box”) – an extension of the Employment Ban the Box law that Bread for the City advocates and clients helped to pass in 2014.
November 03, 2016 by BFC in Community Lawyering Project
For 42 years, Bread for the City has delivered poverty-relief services in the District of Columbia. For the last 25 years, a key part of that relief has been given through legal services.
In the 1990s the social services staff noticed that many of their clients were routinely being denied disability benefits. What started as an ad-hoc initiative to try and help more clients burgeoned into the current iteration of the legal clinic, where attorneys assist clients not only on disability benefits but also in the areas of public benefits, family law and domestic violence, and housing law.
If you follow us at Bread for the City, you know that last June, the DC City council passed the Fair Criminal Record Screening Act (also known as “Ban the Box”). This law protects returning citizens from discrimination from employers. It was passed thanks to the tireless efforts of community members, returning citizens, organizations around the city, and Bread for the City’s Community Lawyering Project (including our own Aja Taylor, who won an award for her efforts!).