Keep DC Affordable! Do not designate Parcel 42 as "Surplus"

Dear Ivan Matthews and the Deputy Mayor's Office for Planning and Economic Development,

I disagree with the designation of Parcel 42 as surplus, as it is certainly required for public purposes.

The agreement with the developer currently is that there will be only 14 units affordable at 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) ($53,750 a year) and 3 units affordable at 30% of the AMI ($32,250 a year). But in DC there are over 60,000 people earning less than 30% of the AMI, and over 94,000 people earning less than 50% of the AMI. The current affordable housing requirement on this parcel of public land is inadequate in the face of the public need.

I am writing to ask that at least half of the building's total units be affordable for those earning less than 50% of the AMI, and at least half of those units be affordable for those earning less than 30% of the AMI. We cannot rely in the market to create an inclusive city. DC has lost 50%, or 35,000 low cost rental units in the last decade.

In addition, DC should implement the Master Public Facilities Plan Amendment Act of 2010, Bill 18-592, which requires that the Mayor prepare a Master Public Facilities Plan for all District owned and maintained facilities that considers the short and long term public facilities needs of District agencies and District government supported community services. It is clear that the city has not carried out the requirements of this bill, which leaves us without a legitimate process for facilities planning.

I ask you to increase the depth of affordability of Parcel 42 to at least 50% of the units being affordable for those earning under 50% of the AMI, and half of those units being affordable for those earning under 30% of the AMI. I also ask that you carry out the requirements of the Master Public Facilities Plan Amendment Act of 2010 and create a real facilities planning process for DC.

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