DC Attorney General Karl Racine announced that the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) is required to upgrade security at 10 public housing properties as part of a settlement with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
Racine’s office filed a lawsuit against DCHA in June, accusing it of failing to stop drug- and firearm-related nuisances at properties in Wards 1, 5, 6, and 7, where over 5,000 people live.
The settlement resolves the lawsuit by requiring DCHA to install and maintain lights and security cameras, hire additional security personnel, secure vacant units, perform daily inspections, and perform frequent property maintenance.
The agency also has to engage with residents and other community stakeholders about safety issues on a regular and ongoing basis, provide $500,000 in funding over five years for violence interruption services. It will have to report to OAG every month to ensure compliance with the settlement agreement.
“Today’s settlement requires DCHA to make security upgrades to a number of buildings and units that will provide additional safety to thousands of public housing residents,” said Racine in a statement.
“We appreciate the seriousness with which DCHA and its leadership team addressed OAG’s concern to reach a quick and just resolution of the lawsuit. The agreed upon changes should result in reduced dangerous illegal activity at the properties, eliminate blight, and provide residents at these properties more of a voice in how safety issues are handled. The Office of the Attorney General is committed to making sure that all District residents have access to safe and affordable housing and that landlords uphold their legal obligations to their tenants,” he continued.