DC leader calls on rest of the region to ‘step it up’ on affordable housing

Currently, it costs a lot of money to buy a house around the D.C. region. Rising interest rates only make it harder, in part, because there’s just not much inventory. Rents keep climbing, too.

It’s led local leaders to talk with more urgency about the need for more affordable housing.

“There’s 24,000 affordable units that are either under construction or in the pipeline,” D.C. Deputy Mayor for Economic Development John Falcicchio said.

“The District of Columbia represents 700,000 residents in a region of 6 million,” he said at a news conference touting new development in Anacostia.

“Unbelievably, there’s 12,000 of those units right here in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “So what we’re calling on, and what Mayor (Muriel) Bowser has long called on, is for the rest of the region to put as much emphasis on affordable housing creation … That’s how we create housing affordability.”

He said D.C. is pushing the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to press every jurisdiction in the association to adopt a goal to build more affordable housing and then follow through on it.

“I don’t want to make everything competitive, but this is a good thing to compete about,” Falcicchio said. “How do we deliver more affordable housing so that we deliver housing affordability for all of our residents?”

While he praised the Bowser administration’s efforts on affordable housing, he also said, “I know that we can do more.”

His call to the rest of the region was to view the problem the same way.

“Step it up,” Falcicchio said. “Step it up and make sure that we all deliver on housing and affordable housing, as well.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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