LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) – The growing population in the District is pushing out many long-term residents, making housing in the nation’s capital less affordable, according to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in his weekly radio address on All News 99.1.
Last week, Gray announced more than $187 million in affordable housing investment throughout the city. He first proposed a $100 million commitment towards creating or preserving 10,000 affordable housing units by 2020 during his State of the District address earlier this year.
But Gray says the need for affordable housing is growing with the influx of new residents into the District – making it difficult for long-term residents to afford to live in the city.
“Ensuring that long-term residents retain the ability to live in the neighborhoods they’ve helped build, should be a top priority for any city government,” Gray said. “The District of Columbia as a whole benefits when we are not just a city for the “haves,” but when we are a city for the “haves,” the “have-nots,” and the “have-somes.”
Gray says the city has grown at a rate of about 1,100 new residents each month, driving up the cost and demand for housing.
“Our city is rapidly becoming less affordable not only for poor, elderly and disabled residents, but also for many middle-class residents,” he said.
But the increase in the District’s population has also led to an increase in the city’s budget.
Gray says D.C. had a $417 million surplus last year. The city plans to use part of that to commit invest in affordable housing.
“Committing direct funds for affordable housing is only part of the solution. My administration went to work finding projects and organizations that could produce the units for District families. And that is how we were able to announce the unprecedented total investment of $187 million from local and federal sources to support the development of 3,200 affordable housing units in 47 projects across the city” he said. “We are on track to exceed our goal of 10,000 units of new or preserved affordable housing by 2020.”
Listen to Gray’s full radio address: