DC mayor devotes $400 million investment in affordable housing in new budget

The D.C. mayor wants $400 million devoted to creating more affordable housing.

Mayor Muriel Bowser will deliver her budget to the D.C. Council on Thursday.

With the new project in the Petworth neighborhood Spring Flats nearing completion behind her, Bowser said she plans to commit $400 million toward housing when she presents her budget.

“My budget will include enough local rental supplement program vouchers to ensure that 50% of the homes produced using the FY 22 Trust Fund dollars are for residents making between zero and 30% of the median family income, and we know that’s a big deal,” Bowser said.

She set a goal of creating 36,000 new housing units in D.C., 12,000 of those affordable units, by 2025. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio said the mayor is on track to have committed $1 billion since she took office in 2015.

“Each year, she committed to put $100 million into the housing production trust fund … so we all thought it would take the mayor 10 years to get to a billion dollars, and we’ve done it in just over six,” Falcicchio said at a news conference Monday.

The goal will create housing across each ward, which Falcicchio said sets D.C. apart.

“That makes us the first in the nation to have housing, affordable housing goals by neighborhood,” he said.

The budget goes to the council, which will consider the mayor’s suggestions and likely make changes of its own. The budget process was significantly delayed due to the pandemic, but Bowser said the city is in a strong financial place to navigate out of it.

“I will say, our taxpayers have made it possible. D.C. residents and businesses who have hung in there, who have pivoted, who have kept their businesses afloat, have made it possible. Our government agencies who have been very judicious over the last year have also made it possible … We’re optimistic about our comeback, which is reflected in these, in what I will present to the council,” she said.

At-large Council member Anita Bonds, and Ward 1 and Ward 4 council members Brianne Nadeau and Janeese Lewis George joined Bowser at the event, as supporters of her affordable housing goals.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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