Join us for a previously recorded Breaking Bread conversation series on housing justice in DC, including dialogue on protecting tenants’ rights, affordable housing development and preservation, public housing redevelopment, and more.
It feels good to be rewarded for your hard work, especially when it’s benefiting the community. Congratulations to Rebecca Lindhurst, she was selected by The District of Columbia Bar Foundation as the 2021 Jerrold Scoutt Prize recipient. It’s awarded to attorneys who have a history of working in the nonprofit sector, especially those providing direct services to low-income communities. Rebecca is a Managing Attorney for Bread for the City’s housing practice and Community Lawyering Project and has worked for the organization since 2002. I interviewed Rebecca about receiving this award and why her community work is important for residents in DC.
On Thursday May 20, 2021, Bread for the City and our community members provided oral and written testimony in support of two bills currently being discussed at the D.C. City Council: the Eviction Record Sealing Authority Amendment of 2021 and the Fair Tenant Screening Act of 2021. Both pieces of legislation will benefit low-income housing applicants, particularly people of color, who regularly face discrimination and indignity during the housing application process, the eviction process, and within our criminal justice system.
Bread for the City, a direct services agency in Washington, DC, that serves over 32,000 DC residents living on low incomes, has received $750,000 in immediate support of its Legal Clinic’s housing law efforts. Bread for the City’s attorneys work to increase access to affordable and stable housing for residents of Washington, DC in the face of redevelopment, displacement, and discrimination. They prevent or delay eviction, prevent termination from critically-needed subsidy programs, and represent tenants and tenant associations.
The DC Council recently passed a few laws that give DC renters new rights. For example, no landlord can serve a 30-Day Notice on a tenant until at least 60 days after the end of the Public Health Emergency. In DC, the 30-Day Notice generally has to come before the filing of an eviction case, so this added protection will give folks a little more time before their landlords begin the process to evict them.
It’s against this backdrop that we issue this statement expressing our deep disappointment in the agreement recently signed by the Office of the Attorney General and the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) settling a lawsuit filed against DCHA for their failure to abate nuisances at 10 of their properties.
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.
As Social Work Month continues, BFC is taking a deep-dive into one of our most impactful social services programs: the Housing Access Program, run by social worker Stacey Johnson, helps people find places where they can apply for housing. We’re in a housing crisis in DC where rental amounts far outpace incomes, and in order to find truly affordable housing, individuals and families must navigate a maze of information, requirements, and applications. That’s where HAP can help.