D.C. is planning to take steps to renovate thousands of public housing units whose conditions have deteriorated over the years.
D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA) will be refurbish approximately 2,400 housing units over a two-year period, as per the agency’s recent announcement.
DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett said that a comprehensive repositioning plan regarding the redevelopment of these housing units will be presented in the next 60 days. Feedback will also be sought before the plan is reviewed by the agency’s board of commissioners in the middle of this year.
“D.C. Housing Authority is facing a monumental crisis, but we are not alone. For two decades and in plain sight, the federal government has steadily reduced its commitment to public policies and programs that provide a hand-up to working poor citizens, our children, our elders, and our disabled neighbors,” Garrett told Bisnow in an email.
DCHA’s audit had earlier found about 7,000 of its 8,000 units had deteriorated, according to a report by the Washington City Paper. About one-third of those (2,700 housing units) required urgent renovation, the DCHA audit concluded.
“The homes are in such disrepair that any further delay could affect the health and safety of residents who live there,” said Garrett, adding that more than 5,000 residents are living in these units, including 1,483 children and 937 elderly people.
Several financing approaches will be utilized to materialize renovation efforts, according to Garret. “DCHA is not considering selling off properties, but rather, we are unlocking access to private equity to assist our residents. Full dependence on federal funding is not an option,” he added.
In January, the board of the agency voted in favor of the plan to address the deteriorated state of these housing units. Some advocates state that these plans are akin to privatizing large portions of public housing.