What: A presentation to teach and educate individuals on ways to create wealth and retire in a tax-free environment.
Where: ONE DC Office, 614 S St NW, Carriage House in Rear
When: Monday, December 1 at 6PM
RSVP: Limited space. Please register by calling 240-988-6992 and leave your name and number.
An in-depth discussion about housing trends in D.C. was hosted by Elevation DC Magazine, Oct. 21.
The conversation was an effort to explore the line between preserving affordable housing for long-time District residents and making way for newcomers to enjoy living in the city as well, said David Bowers, VP and market leader at Mid-Atlantic and representative from Enterprise Community Partners, who sponsored the event.
The panel discussion, “Gentrification, Revitalization or Renaissance,” was moderated by Rebecca Sheir, host of WAMU’s Metro Connection and took place at Shiloh Baptist Church in the Shaw neighborhood in Northwest.
The “G word” or gentrification can be a touchy subject, according to panelist Dr. Bernard Demczuk, George Washington University’s assistant vice president for D.C. government relations, African American history teacher at School Without Walls and Ben’s Chili Bowl historian. He said he prefers not to use the term at all.
He argued that word’s associated with the displacement of low-income residents by more upwardly mobile individuals is inaccurate. Instead, the cause is a reflection of the third great wave of American cities.
“It has to do with the natural flow of economics and demographic shifts,” he said. “And ain’t nothing going to stop it.”
Long-time District residents and newcomers attended the discussion. Conversely, Dominic Mouldon, representing non-profit ONE DC, views gentrification as an injustice against people of African descent. “D.C. claims to be a human rights city,” he said. “The crime [of gentrification] is the erasing of civil and human rights for D.C. citizens — the erasing of history, culture and art of long time D.C. residents.”
Read more at The Afro
After successfully demanding a meeting with Councilmember Muriel Bowser, the People’s Platform Alliance, including Mount Vernon Plaza residents, won a temporary reprieve from the management of Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments. Several residents received a thirty-day extension to the initial notice to pay an extra $600 a month or vacate the property.
In a letter dated October 21st, officials from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) notified the owner of Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments to “cease and desist with any attempts to raise the rents on the rent restricted units without DHCD consent and in violation of affordability restrictions.” In response to this most recent development, Mount Vernon Plaza tenant, Quitel Andrews, had the following to say:
“It is clear the only way tenants are guaranteed any kind of protection is when we organize. Landlords will use any and every opportunity to take advantage of the increasingly expensive rental market even if that means pushing longtime D.C. residents out. It is imperative that city officials use every legal mechanism available to protect tenants. If we did not organize and demand Councilmember Bowser to step in, the owner would have gotten away with unethically and quite possibly illegally displacing residents.”
Despite the letter, property managers at Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments continue to employ intimidation tactics to force residents out. On Friday, one resident, Alem Gheremariam, received a notice to vacate his apartment before his lease had expired.
The situation at Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments demonstrates the importance of passing legislation that ensures permanent housing affordability in the District and ultimately a comprehensive strategy that addresses the housing needs of all D.C. residents.
The demonstration in Councilmember Muriel Bowser’s office is the first step in holding elected officials accountable. D.C. officials must be pushed to embrace a more inclusive housing plan for the city. Most importantly, the next mayor will play an integral role in creating a truly equitable D.C for all residents.
The People’s Platform Alliance will continue to organize until the economic, racial, and gender inequities affecting low-income people are eliminated.
Press Contact: Rosemary Ndubuizu, ONE DC organizer
Music, slam poetry and featured speakers who are working to end displacement of DC residents to promote a more equitable city. For more information visit bypeacefulmeans.org
By Sarah Anne Hughes, DCist
About two dozen demonstrators attempted to enter Councilmember Muriel Bowser's office in the Wilson Building today to ask for legislation in support of their affordable housing plan, but were blocked as a group from entering.
"This is the people's house," one demonstrator with ONE DC told a guard blocking the door. "They can't do this. ... I'm a D.C. resident, and I pay taxes here." The guard explained that, while the building is open to the public, Council staff may restrict entrance to offices if the activities are expected to create a disruption.
Five people, some residents of Mount Vernon Plaza, others affiliated with ONE DC, were eventually allowed to enter the office to explain to Joy Holland and Robert Hawkins, Bowser's chief of staff and legislative director, respectively, their demand: A written comment from Bowser on the People's Platform, which includes a call to freeze rents at places like Mount Vernon Plaza, one apartment building where local and federal affordability requirements are soon set to expire. Residents of Mount Vernon Plaza say they were not told a Low Income Housing Tax Credit was set to expire at the end of 2013, increasing their rents by hundreds of dollars.
By Ben Kabuye
The air isn’t different in St. Louis, but you breathe differently in the show-me-state. It is the tension riding the air after a Black boy’s body breathed its last. Michael Brown’s spirit animates the streets and even the empty night air surrounding United Church of Christ. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) has answered the call from Ferguson, MO. Black Lives Matter, at least to the bodies huddled in the shelter offered by Pastor Starsky Wilson. Local and national churches stand at the juxtaposition of another cross road filled with political questions. For United, all roads lead to Ferguson and @LostVoices14, @TefPoe, and @Nettaaaaaaaa; youth on the ground with platforms to chart the path. The “Politics of Jesus” are being resurrected. That is something.
The pews are filled now and we have yelled origins as far as Canada and as near as Ohio and John Crawford’s body. Moments of silence give way to whispers of ancestors and their names tear the heavens with the urgency of the collective demand. Those who have gone before are remembered and present. Near trembling the room hums with whispered anticipation of what this shared space can mean. We are animated by outrage at the public brutality that removed Michael Brown from this plane and laid his body in the street for hours. Somebody near by talks about being unable to listen to Lesley Mcspadden, the mother of Michael Brown, speak. None of us could honestly but despite being unable to hear her pained tones we have responded and the room is filled with many Lesley McSpadden’s. A few hundred organizers from around the country and the overwhelming majority are Black women. So many women, present, doing the necessary work. We are all here for Michael Brown; Patrisse Cullors shares the stage with Darnell Moore and we are told this is not Bayard Rustin 2.0 and no one will have to hide who they are for the sake of the collective. If Black political thought is to mature into a new movement it must mean that all black bodies matter. We know this, we say this; do we do this? This has yet to be seen.
Once we state our shared principles that all Black Lives Matter it is left to discuss the particular demands. These are organizers and the mass is quickly separated into groups, by sections, and skill sets and the days roll by. In there we learn about the way the police displayed the body publicly, disrespected memorials, and showed complete disregard for the community in the initial hours after the murder. The act then is echoed again into the minds of the children who watch us march and stand on their laws in eyesight of where the body rested without peace. We learn how the formally and informally organized community members worked to keep the police out of the neighborhood on the day of the murder. Then as organizers do we discuss demands, legal procedure, power leveraging, and chest-mounted cameras for the police.
There is a disturbing discrepancy between the actions of a grieving community and our policy ideas that we can not yet speak to. Not now at least, not while we are building our campaigns. We have to change the antiblack media narrative, we need to establish police review boards like in New York to curtail state sanctioned violence. However, our thinking there is the understanding that this is only the beginning. With reports on the frequency of police violence, some are charging genocide, and here at BAJI we support those efforts and offer at the very least ideas. What will this next wave of movement become? It can be a new more interesting movement or something all too familiar and we have not yet decided.
More than a dozen residents of a D.C. apartment building and advocates for the poor staged a sit-in Monday at the council offices of Muriel E. Bowser (D-Ward 4).
Members of ONE DC, a social justice group, said they had unsuccessfully requested a meeting with Bowser, the chair of the committee with oversight of housing issues, since July regarding rising rental costs at Mount Vernon Plaza apartments.
Under terms of public loans and grants to the property dating to the 1980s, owners of the building had long been required to maintain more than 60 apartments as low-rent units. That obligation recently expired, and tenants in the building near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center began receiving letters warning that rates would increase $500 to $600 a month, or about 50 percent. Rents would rise again next year by a similar amount, the letters said, to reach market rate.
Today long-time D.C. residents are holding a demonstration inside the office of D.C. Councilmember Muriel Bowser demanding a clear plan to preserve and create affordable housing. The demonstration highlights a very important issue: the rapid evaporation of affordable housing in desirable neighborhoods in the District.
The People’s Platform Alliance including Mount Vernon Plaza residents will not leave Councilmember Bowser's office until the following demands are met.
- A meeting with Councilmember Muriel Bowser to discuss legislation that will protect residents from Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments from displacement.
- Immediate legislation that places a moratorium on rents being raised on tenants as a result of federal or local affordability covenants expiring
- A public hearing to discuss low-cost housing specifically the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) and strengthening rent control with the elimination of hardship petitions
As Chair of the Committee on Housing and Economic Development, Bowser has the unique opportunity to stem the tide of massive displacement by introducing legislation that will guarantee stronger protections for D.C. residents.
Send an email to Councilmember Bowser demanding she introduces legislation for protect residents from Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments from displacement.
- Call Councilmember Muriel Bowser at (202) 724-8052
Hi, my name is ______ and I am calling to ask the Councilmember to take a stand in support of affordable housing.
Forty-five buildings financed through low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds have affordability restrictions set to expire in the next five years. Losing these affordable units will further exacerbate the housing crisis in the District.
In one of those buildings, Mount Vernon Plaza near the Convention Center, residents are on the verge of being displaced or homeless in the coming days if immediate action to stop the rent increase isn't taken.
Can I count on the Councilmember to advocate on behalf of Mount Vernon Plaza residents?
3. Send a tweet to Councilmember Bowser
@MurielBowser If you truly support affordable housing, address huge issue of expiring LIHTC buildings, start with Mt.VernonPlaza #DCision14
If Councilmember Bowser does not step in several residents will in fact be homeless next week. Please consider supporting the residents protesting in Councilmember Bowser's office by making a phone call today!
On Thursday evening, members of the People’s Platform Alliance will hold a peace vigil to call attention to the increasing loss of affordable housing in the District. The vigil will take place before the Mayoral Forum in front of Anacostia High School located at 1601 16th ST SE.
People’s Platform is a campaign aimed at holding D.C. Councilmembers accountable for the massive displacement of long-time, low-income D.C. residents. Residents throughout the city have crafted a comprehensive policy agenda with the aim of ensuring a more equitable D.C. that includes, but is not limited to the development of housing co-ops, permanent housing affordability, a moratorium on all public housing demolition and redevelopment.
“D.C. Councilmembers have created this problem of displacement.” says Phyllissa Bilal, long-time D.C. resident of Barry Farm. “Should residents be forced to leave because of poor city management? Why should the residents be removed from their homes and social networks they created to survive?” Barry Farm is public housing complex located in Southeast Washington D.C. slated for demolition and redevelopment, which could potentially result in the displacement of hundreds of families.
“I do not understand D.C. Councilmembers’ failure to respond to this crisis” Endegen Merekubu, resident of Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments. “D.C. government officials were fully aware the affordable housing programs were set to expire, but were not proactive in preventing this situation.” After living in their homes for close to twenty years, Mount Vernon Plaza residents received a two-month notice of a $600+ a month rent increase. Residents had two choices – pay the rent increase or vacate.
“Both situations at Barry Farm and Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments demonstrate the need to preserve of affordable housing, but to invest affordable housing programs for D.C. residents,” says Rosemary Ndubuizu, community organizer for ONE DC. “Neither Bowser or Catania has a clear plan on how to meet those goals.”
The People’s Platform Alliance will hold a peace vigil in remembrance of the thousands forced to leave the city and ultimately the loss of community in the District. Afterwards community members will move inside to Anacostia High School to demand mayoral candidates to take a more comprehensive approach to protecting affordable housing in the District.
Press contact: Rosemary Ndubuizu, ONE DC organizer
Join Us Tonight!
WHAT: People’s Platform Peace Vigil
WHERE: Ward 8 Mayoral Forum
Academies at Anacostia High School
1601 16th ST SE
WHEN: TONIGHT, Thursday, October 16th at 6:00 PM
For more information call or text 202.760.4875 or email firstname.lastname@example.org