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Bread for the City Attorney’s Fight to Protect Public Housing Tenants Reaches DC Council

Impactful and effective advocacy happens on all fronts. Community Lawyering Project  Supervisor Taylor Healy has brought her fight to protect tenants to the DC Council. Today, a bill that Healy and a coalition of other advocates championed is being introduced by Councilmember Brianne Nadeau. The Public Housing Preservation and Tenant Protection Amendment Act of 2020 will protect tenants from displacement. “To demolish and/or rehabilitate almost 4,000 public housing units through a ‘plan’ that history shows leads to the permanent displacement of black and brown families and the destruction of communities is reckless,” Healy said. “Yes, many of these units are in extreme disrepair, but there isn’t a one-size fits all solution. This legislation is critical to ensuring that the DC Housing Authority puts its residents first, is transparent about how decisions are made, and is realistic about the current housing crisis in the District.”

As Councilmember Nadeau notes in a release about the bill:

This legislation would require DCHA to provide the Council with 45 days notice before submitting “demolition/disposition” plans for public housing properties. It would also clearly outline the rights of potentially displaced District residents in public housing and ensure that impacted residents are able to access and maintain housing on redeveloped properties. Councilmember Nadeau is joined by a majority of the Council, as well as a majority of the members of the Committee on Housing. Co-introducers include Councilmembers Silverman, Trayon White, Robert White, Grosso, Allen, Todd, and Cheh.

“This government has a responsibility to it most vulnerable residents not only to provide them with safe, dignified housing, but also to ensure that in doing so we are not displacing them,” said Nadeau. “Too often we have seen residents scattered during redevelopment projects, with no clear plans for their return. When this happens, we are destabilizing families and communities. Our residents need real guarantees that they will be supported and have housing to return to.”

More details and the full text of the bill can be found here.

 

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