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February 20, 2014 / Rebekah Seder

The D.C. Housing Authority needs billions to meet housing demand

HOUSING | Adrianne Todman, the head of the D.C. Housing Authority, cited some staggering figures at a D.C. Council hearing yesterday. According to her, it would take an additional $1.3 billion in DCHA funding to modernize the city’s current public housing supply, and $2.3 billion to build sufficient units to house the 71,000 people on the city’s public housing waiting list (CP, 2/19):

[…] Todman laid much of the blame for her agency’s funding shortfall at the feet of the federal government, which has reduced DCHA funding substantially in recent years. “Unfortunately, our national leaders do not appear to appreciate this form of affordable housing and continue to underfund it,” she said.

HOMELESSNESS | In response to the increase in the number of families in shelters this winter, Mayor Gray is asking the D.C. Council for the power to allow the city to determine whether families have some place else they can stay (WaPo 2/19):

A draft of Gray’s proposal…would fundamentally alter a District law that grants any resident a “right to shelter” on nights when the temperature drops below freezing and the city declares a hypothermia alert.

[…]

Under Gray’s plan, families would be given shelter on a provisional basis, but caseworkers would immediately begin to determine whether they have other housing prospects, including sleeping on the couches or floors of relatives or friends. The city would have to make a decision within 14 days.

Those who have such options would be required to leave city-funded rooms within 24 hours, even if the temperature remains below freezing.

Related: WRAG members are invited to a brown bag discussion on homelessness in the region next month. More information here.

ARTS
– The long-struggling Corcoran Gallery of Art will be taken over by the National Gallery of Art, and the Corcoran College of Art and Design will be taken over by George Washington University, under a plan that was announced yesterday. (WaPo, 2/19)

- The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities is bringing back the 5×5 project, which brings 25 temporary public art installations to locations throughout the city. The announcement comes with a pretty cool promotional video too. (DCist, 2/19)

EDUCATION
– Here’s part 2 of Greater Greater Education‘s look at how the IMPACT teacher evaluation system can be improved in low-income schools. (GGE, 2/19)

- Alexandria rethinking small middle schools (WaPo, 2/20)

INEQUALITY | A new study from the Brookings Institution finds that cities with strong economies tend to have greater levels of economic inequality. (NY Times, 2/20)

Related: Here’s the paper from Brookings. (Brookings, 2/20) It will surprise exactly no one where D.C. ranks on their list of cities with the greatest levels of inequality.

HEALTH | Reason To Smile: Children’s Dental Health Improves In Maryland (WAMU, 2/19)

NONPROFITS | MacArthur Foundation recognizes 3 D.C. area nonprofits as creative, effective institutions (WaPo, 2/20)

TRANSIT | North-South streetcar starts to take shape (GGW, 2/19) Try to suspend your disbelief.


I scored a 76 on this quiz. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

- Rebekah

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