2017 Begins with new Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization
Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization
The Council of the District of Columbia began the New Year welcoming new member, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White and welcoming back Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray at its January 2 organizational meeting. The new legislative session, Council Period 22 will work to build on past successes in the next two years. During the organizational meeting, members approved operational rules, selected council officers, and sanctioned committee assignments.
As the Chairperson of the newly structured Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, it is my honor to continue yet another year advocating for your interests. During period 22, staff and I will work to build on last year’s successes including; strengthening rent control and condo owner’s rights, addressing cooperative ownership issues, protecting seniors and disabled renters, ending excessive rental late fees, Funding the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF), increasing the funding for the HPAP program, and other measures that will benefit hundreds of thousands of residents.
Obviously, the District’s affordable housing crisis is one of the top issues that residents want addressed by their government. I believe that we can continue to close the loopholes, provide greater funding for production and preservation, and implement underutilized programs such as the District Opportunity to Purchase (DOPA) laws because I cannot tolerate another family who has called DC their home for generations being displaced due to the cost of housing!
The committee will also continue with the oversight of the DC Office on Aging. Most are aware that I will always support and introduce policies that benefit our seniors and look forward to enhancing programs to benefit this treasured constituency. Likewise, the committee will have purview of the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and we will work diligently to ensure that recent legislation to strengthen the commissions will be fully implemented. Additionally, the committee now has oversight of the Board of Condemnation of Insanitary Building, the Real Estate Commission, the Board of Real Estate Appraisers, and the Rental Housing Commission. I anticipate establishing a strong working relationship with these agencies as we consider the needs of residents, advocates, and providers.
Interagency Council on Homelessness
I advocated for and am pleased to have some oversight responsibilities of the Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH). The ICH develops the District’s strategies and policies for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk and I want to better understand and contribute to the implementation of these policies.
DC’s Returning Citizens
We look forward to working with the returning citizen community, which on average is 600-700 individuals released a month. Most are seeking housing in their hometown, the District of Columbia. Last year, I was able to secure funds for the District’s returning citizens to obtain housing vouchers and hope to provide greater assistance in 2017.
Finally, I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve on the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, Committee on Education, and look forward to serving on the newly structured Committee on Business and Economic Development.
As your At-Large Councilmember, I look forward to representing your interest on these important services. Moreover, you are encouraged you to stop by or contact me or my office at 202-724-8064 anytime on any issue of concern.