Pages tagged "displacement"
This article from the Howard University student newspaper includes an interview with one of the plaintiffs, a tenant at Brookland Manor. Adriann Borum describes her positive past experiences with community life at Brookland Manor and the negative impact that redevelopment plans have had on tenant quality of life. Communal outdoor grills have been removed, playing on a basketball court has been prohibited, and restrictions on outdoor activities have been implemented. Borum describes how it makes tenants - Black families specifically - feel like they are a problem in their own community. The redevelopment will impact Borum's family history at Brookland Manor (3 generations reside there) and will negatively affect the many multigenerational families that make Brookland Manor their home. Read the article at The Hilltop online
In the News - Washington Post: "In gentrifying D.C., large apartments for families are quickly disappearing" 09.29.16
This article highlights the stories of individual Brookland Manor tenants as it details the potential impact of the redevelopment on the District's families. The developer has testified to the Zoning Commission that four- and five-bedroom apartments “are not consistent with the creation of a vibrant new community” and seeks to eliminate all four- and five-bedroom apartments. Mid-City Financial claims that large families can move to smaller units or be split up into several units. Advocates argue that families will instead be moved into poorer areas, substandard housing, be displaced from DC all together, or encounter homelessness. The developer argues that Mid-City Financial is supportive of affordable housing, but tenants and advocates see Mid-City following a city-wide pattern of displacement of low-income, large families in favor of wealthier tenants with smaller or no families. Read the article at The Washington Post
A legal news source, Courthouse News Service describes the current class action lawsuit filed by tenants at Brookland Manor. Both claimants have 4-bedroom apartments, and the redevelopment plan calls for the removal of all 4 and 5 bedroom apartments. There are presently 116 units with four or five bedrooms, which are not common in the District of Columbia. Currently, only 8 percent of DC housing units have 4 bedrooms and only 4 percent have 5 or more bedrooms.Read more
In the News - Washington Legal Clinic: "Discriminatory development practices and the affordable housing crisis in D.C."
The article details the discrimination lawsuit filed by Covington and Burling, LLP and the Washington Lawyers' Committee. It describes who would likely be affected by Mid-City's redevelopment of Brookland Manor and how those effects violate both the federal Fair Housing Act and the District of Columbia's Human Rights Act. The Brookland Manor/Brentwood Village Residents' Association is working together with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and ONE DC to fight the potential displacement and also the unfair tactics used by the property owner, Mid-City Financial. The struggle at Brookland Manor is connected with the broader fight for affordable housing across the District of Columbia. Redevelopment projects--approved by elected District leaders, zoning officials, and the Office of Planning--seek to create new communities but do so at the expense and displacement of long-term, low-income Washingtonians. Read more at Washington Legal Clinic
A brief video segment from NBC, this piece describes how large families are afraid of being displaced. Brookland Manor is home to hundreds of low-income residents, many of whom reside in 3, 4, and 5 bedroom apartments. The new development will not include 4 and 5 bedrooms and is planned to have significantly fewer 3 bedrooms. On the video, interviews with residents and lawyers describe the potential impact on families. Watch the segment here.
In the News - DCist: "Brookland residents sue owner of massive complex over redevelopment plans" 08.25.16
Explaining the details of the discrimination lawsuit and the changes to affordable housing at Brookland Manor, this article highlights the changes in affordable housing and unit size in the proposed redevelopment. While Brookland Manor presently has 209 three or more bedroom apartments, the redevelopment will only have 64 three bedroom apartments and zero four and five bedroom apartments. Data gathered by the Washington Lawyers' Committee's Fair Housing Project indicates that 150 families will be affected and potentially displaced by the reduced unit sizes of the redevelopment. One of the plaintiffs on the discrimination lawsuit explains how the redevelopment will tear apart the long-established sense of community and social cohesion at Brookland Manor. Read the article here.
In the News - Washington City Paper: "Northeast tenants sue owner for alleged discrimination" 08.25.16
This article details the discrimination lawsuit and also points out the gaps in Mid-City's argument that they are providing an "inclusive" where all current residents will be welcomed to remain. The proposals to the Zoning Commission actually remove housing sized for families. Mid-City's current practices documented by the Washington Post include suing tenants for small amounts and beginning the eviction process for minor lease violations. Read the article here.
The chairman of Mid-City Financial Corp responds to the Washington Post's investigative reporting, through a letter to an editor. Gene Ford, Jr., claims that the redevelopment is "socially responsible and inclusive." He argues this by listing the number of Section 8 contracts that will remain at Brookland Manor (373). Compared with the bare minimum that developers are required to provide, the number of affordable units are larger than the requirements of a new development. Though Mr. Ford indicates that everyone will be able to return to the redevelopment, he does not address the issue that large families currently in four or five bedroom units will not find similar housing at the redevelopment. Read the letter here.
In the News - Washington Post: "As the nation's capital booms, poor tenants face eviction over as little as $25" 08.08.16
This article is a long, in-depth feature highlighting the difficulties tenants have faced at Brookland Manor. It highlights the experiences of tenants who have been threatened with eviction over small sums - sometimes held back to try to urge management to make repairs in their units. Urban renewal is bringing change to neighborhoods, or gentrification, and developers across the country and in Washington, DC, have financial incentive to redevelop older properties - once affordable - and market them as luxury units to wealthier newcomers. Small debts to property management companies are being used to threaten or clear out existing tenants and make way for the new development. Lawsuits over small debts also create an online, legal background that can be used against tenants in future rental applications. Read the article here.
On Thursday, September 22nd, ONE DC, Justice First, tenants of Congress Heights, Brookland Manor, Museum Square, and our members and supporters rallied in solidarity with renters in DC and nationwide for the Renters Day of Action. Across the country, in more than 50 cities, renters rose up in powerful demonstrations of the power of everyday people standing up for racial, economic & social justice. Renters are making four major demands:
In DC, residents living at a Congress Heights property are making another demand. Department of Housing and Community Development must take control of 3200 13th Street SE from the current owners to prevent known slum landlords and developers from gaining site control to move forward with their development plan in which they seek to displace Congress Heights tenants. Affected residents at Congress Heights and the larger neighborhood must be given priority as to determining alternative plans to create the affordable housing originally intended for the site in a manner that is beneficial to and determined by the community. Additionally, DHCD must take action to recuperate the missing $1 million from the owners of 3200, and commit to reinvesting it back into the development of 3200 to create much needed income-based affordable housing on the property as was originally intended.