Friday, April 11, 2014

? of the Day: "How can Ward 8 attract middle income renters when we have no place for them to live?"

And by housing need I  mean rental housing with no income cap, very close to metro and on par with other "up and coming" neighborhoods. Everyone agrees that in order to achieve investments in new jobs, retail, and amenities Ward 8 really needs some residents with disposable income.

But are we really creating opportunities for those potential residents to live here?

I can't say this enough. West of the River has an affordable housing problem. East of the River has an economic development problem. You can't solve the former's problem with the latter's need.

Don't get it twisted. I do believe lower-income residents are being "pushed out" but does anyone notice where they are being pushed to? We are pushing DC residents with the most need to the section of the city with the least amount of resources. WHAT SENSE DOES THAT MAKE?! It doesn't. Economic segregation is real and we see it every day.

Wards 7 and 8 have  the  HIGHEST unemployment but the LEAST amount of living wage jobs, LOWEST access to quality healthcare and the FEWEST retail options. Yet, almost all of the new "affordable" housing projects are being built here. What is the sense in that? How important is "affordable housing" when it is placed almost exclusively in places it isn't needed? Why aren't the bulk of these new funds being invested west of the river in neighborhoods were low income renters are being exported at an alarming rate? Why can't east of the river finally get a shot at some of the revitalization coming west of the river?!

And most importantly, "Who is advocating for Ward 8?"

And that's not just a question of the day. That's a question for a lifetime and then some.



Anthony Gualtieri said...

Rather than go into an elaborate historical discussion that comes off pessimistic, I will just say that the best predictor of the future is the past. EOR is not considered the urban core but the periphery. Your work and that of your colleagues and neighbors is critical. Unfortunately, misrecognition is a much larger social issue. #KymoneIt AKA #DoSomething

Anna Costia said...

Periphery... I understand the previous comment, but I need to push back on the historic train of thought. I live in Anacostia and get to work inside of 20 minutes, easy. We will not see gas prices below $3 again. How can Southeast DC be considered periphery when folks commute from Manassas, Gaithersburg, and as far away as parts of WV and PA to work in DC???

On that note, I think I'll take a healthy stroll to the Waterfront to check out the Cherry Blossoms this weekend...

Anthony Gualtieri said...

Core and periphery were not used in geospatial terms but socioeconomic. As you stated gas prices are high and people commute from quite a distance. Those same people were moving info the District until recently. Population growth now has reverted to child birth from migration. I guess that will keep development pressure down a bit EOR. And historically speaking, EOR was mostly farms then a few communities until the redevelopment of SW boosted the population when people were displaced and garden style apartments were built. I trust you enjoyed your stroll. I wonder if tourists strolled to the CBF from DCA. It is the same distance.