Dear friends and allies,
Today, July 26th, developers submit proposals to the city government to develop the controversial Parcel 42 (at 7th St. and Rhode Island Ave. NW). While this land was promised as affordable housing for families making less than $50,000/yr., the Mayor's Office is moving forward with proposals to develop luxury housing instead.
Sign this petition today to send a message directly to the city officials responsible and the developers bidding on Parcel 42. Let them know that we will hold them accountable to the promise of 100% affordable housing in DC, for Parcel 42 and beyond.
Now is the time to let developers and city officials know the community is mobilized, watching, and demanding our voices be heard and respected concerning the development of public land in our own communities. We are demanding that development on Parcel 42 be halted until the resources and community involvement needed to develop 100% low cost affordable housing is realized.
Together, we will be heard!
Parcel 42 was originally promised to be developed at 50% of the Area Median Income tiered down in 2007 based on an established Community Benefits Agreement. Current plans and expectations set by the Deputy Mayor's office ignore this agreement and will lead to housing that is unaffordable for the community at large.
I believe development in DC must be economically diverse, inclusive, and equitable, and urge you to halt your plans to build luxury apartments on the vacant lot. Please respect the community's need for affordable and equitable housing development.
I am writing to you because I believe in balanced development that allows DC residents to live in socio-economically and racially diverse neighborhoods that are vibrant and give everyone an equitable pathway to a dignified and healthy life. With Parcel 42 you have an opportunity to balance development to be inclusive of low, moderate, and high-income earners in exciting, bustling neighborhoods.
I am concerned because DC is increasingly becoming the tale of two cities: one increasingly affluent and welcomed, and the other increasingly impoverished and displaced. Over 30 percent of all moderate income residents, those who earn between $30,000 and $50,000, spend more than half of their income on rent. From 2000 to 2010, the average unsubsidized rent in DC skyrocketed from $735 to $1100. In the last ten years, District of Columbia has lost over half of its low-cost rental units. Over 25,000 DC residents are on the Section 8 waiting list. The typical low-income resident spends more than 63 percent of their income on housing. DC is facing a crisis, and we must make a commitment to all residents in our community.
I believe Parcel 42 presents an opportunity to mitigate the housing crisis affecting our neighborhoods and our city, and to demonstrate a commitment to truly equitable and affordable development. Therefore, I urge you to ensure that Parcel 42 is developed as tiered and truly affordable for households that earn less than $50,000 a year, including recent graduates, young families, seniors living on a fixed income, long time residents of the neighborhood, and many others. If this cannot be guaranteed, I demand the land be left alone until the necessary resources and support can be secured to make it happen.
I believe in a vision for our city that is economically inclusive, diverse, and equitable for all in our communities. I hope you share this commitment, and I urge you to halt development on Parcel 42 until there are clear provisions that ensure that the housing will be truly affordable to meet the community's needs.