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Mayor Bowser Makes Washington, DC the First City in the Nation to Set Affordable Housing Goals by Neighborhood

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Mayor Kicks Off DC Housing Week with Release of Housing Equity Report and Full Draft Comprehensive Plan
Mayor Kicks Off DC Housing Week with Release of Housing Equity Report and Full Draft Comprehensive Plan

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by DC Office of Planning (OP) Director Andrew Trueblood to release the Mayor’s Housing Equity Report and the District’s draft Comprehensive Plan proposal. By establishing goals specific to each planning area of the city, the Housing Equity Report makes Washington, DC among the first cities in the nation to create area-specific goals for affordable housing and dedicate an entire initiative to examining the barriers and opportunities within each area.

“What both the Housing Equity Report and the updated Comprehensive Plan recognize is that housing is a citywide challenge that requires citywide solutions,” said Mayor Bowser. “Washington, DC will continue to change – we can be sure of that. These plans are focused on how we manage that change and balance competing interests in order to ensure a vibrant, equitable, and resilient city, not only for us, but for our children and grandchildren.”

The Office of Planning and Department of Housing and Community Development collaborated to produce the Housing Equity Report. The report provides an analysis of current affordable housing distribution and proposes specific targets to achieve Mayor Bowser’s bold goal of building 36,000 new homes, including 12,000 homes affordable to low-income residents, by 2025.

Recognizing the critical need to make progress toward these goals, the Mayor also released the draft Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) proposal today. The Comp Plan is a high-level guiding document that sets a positive, long-term vision for the District, through the lens of its physical growth and change. It is divided into 25 elements and two maps, the Future Land Use Map and the Generalized Policy Map. Housing is a critical theme of the proposed Comp Plan, and achieving the Mayor’s bold goals will require changes being proposed to the text and maps. In addition to housing, the other three major themes of this update are equity, resilience, and leveraging public resources.

“Mayor Bowser recognizes the urgency of addressing housing affordability and opportunity. She has pushed the District to use all of our affordable housing tools to ensure an economically diverse future,” said Office of Planning Director Andrew Trueblood. “With the Comprehensive Plan and the Housing Equity Report, we can be intentional about how and where we change, and how we balance competing interests in order to ensure a vibrant, equitable and resilient city for our future.”

The Comp Plan was approved in 2006 and amended in 2011. Given how Washington, DC has changed in that time, it is important that the plan is amended now to reflect today’s conditions, opportunities, and challenges.

“Mayor Bowser has challenged us to create a more inclusive city, one that gives all residents a fair shot at a pathway to the middle class,” said Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “Today, Mayor Bowser makes DC the first city in the nation to set affordable housing targets by neighborhood. This goal-setting strategy will help us achieve our overall mission of building a more inclusive DC.”

The release of the Draft Comp Plan marks the beginning of a public review period. OP is providing a public review period of 67 days to accommodate review of the amended Elements; from October 15, 2019 through December 20, 2019. The Administration has prioritized ANC feedback during this public review period by providing 108 days (October 15, 2019 through January 31, 2020) for ANCs to meet with constituents and submit Official Actions (Resolutions).