On Saturday, over 700 people packed Calvary Baptist Church with one message, Housing For All: DC is Our Home. The high-energy event included stories of residents struggling and succeeding in finding affordable housing, essays by students and adults, and performances by groups and artists connected with affordable housing providers.
At the fourth and largest Housing For All Rally, residents came from all walks of life to challenge DC government to do more to address DC’s growing affordability. They were joined by Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Council Housing and Community Develpment Committee Chair Anita Bonds, and Councilmember Elissa Silverman.
Mayor Bowser continued her commitment to increase investments in a wide variety of affordable housing types. “When we think about the $100 million for affordable housing I know we have to think about it across the entire spectrum. From very very low income housing to middle income housing. We have to think about new housing and we have to think about preserving housing…I consider this among the top things I have to do as Mayor.”
Both Councilmembers also committed to work hard to address the housing needs in the District, connecting strongly with the need to end chronic homelessness, provide opportunities for homeownership, provide affordable rental housing, and preserve the affordable places where people live.
This is a promising sign. “I am hearted by the moment we find ourselves in. We have an engaged community, we have new leadership in the executive branch and legislative branch to get some things done that are sustainable,” said Steve Glaude, Executive Director of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development.
The success of the rally reflects the strength of the Housing For All Campaign. The Campaign has continued to grow and develop new partnerships, including the over 200 organizations that support the campaign and the event. We also set important targets for the Mayor and DC Council to meet, including a $100 million commitment to the Housing Production Trust Fund as well as investments across the Continuum of Housing.
“The Housing For All Campaign has changed the conversation about affordable housing in DC” said Susanne Slater, President of the Board of CNHED. “Saturday’s rally is a demonstration of the important role the campaign is playing in making sure DC invests in affordable housing programs that meet the District’s diverse needs.
Winning entries of the Housing For All Writing Competition: