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March 4, 2015 / Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Another view of the affordable housing crisis

While there are many ways to view affordable housing in D.C. and other major cities, two major themes tend to emerge. An author discusses why we may all be wrong about the way we view solutions to affordable housing – and the very problem itself. (GGW, 3/4)

Whenever we discuss housing affordability, we usually hear two major opposing beliefs. Both are well-honed, clear arguments. And both are wrong—or at least, not completely right.

Some say that new development only provides high-end housing which doesn’t do anything to help those who really need it. Therefore, they oppose new market-rate development.

Others say the problem is we don’t have enough development. Regulations constrict supply and drive up costs. Get rid of regulations and the free market will build housing for everyone.

– For low-income residents, finding affordable rental units in the District is no easy task. That’s why D.C. councilmembers are working to introduce a bill that would offer more information to residents on the city’s rent-controlled housing stock in the form of a central database. Though helpful if implemented, most residents would find the listed units were still out of reach. (WCP, 3/3)

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT | Today, Supreme Court justices began hearing arguments in a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act. A decision is not likely to be made until June in the case that threatens the tax credits for individuals in some states who meet certain income requirements. You can also read a nice breakdown of the case here. (Atlantic, 3/4 and WaPo, 3/3)

ENVIRONMENT | Prince George’s ranks near top in state for recycling, diverting waste (Gazette, 3/3)

Opinion: D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson discusses what she thinks has led to the fast growth of D.C. students – real respect for those who teach. (NYT, 3/3)

– Montgomery County Public Schools have released their 2014 Annual Report to the Community. The interactive, multi-media report can be accessed here. (MCPS, 3/4)

The Annual Report to the Community for the 2013-2014 school year tells the story of MCPS—the factors that are driving change in our district; the strategies we are using to close the achievement gap and prepare our students for success in the 21st century; and the operational and student performance data we use to monitor our progress.

Kids living in the toughest circumstances are less likely to go to charter schools (GGW, 3/3)

HOMELESSNESS | “Housing first” approach works for homeless, study says (WaPo, 3/4)

FOOD | The University of the District of Columbia is the country’s only land grant university with a specifically urban focus that was created to provide agricultural training to the public. This distinction has made the institution a leading resource for urban farmers. (Elevation, 3/3)

PHILANTHROPY | The Top Five Most Promising Trends in Philanthropy (Forbes, 3/2)

TRANSIT | In Seattle, a program that charges transit riders based on their income is taking off in direct response to the displacement of lower-income riders to the suburbs after the technology boom there. Other cities may soon take note. (BBC, 3/2)

Welcome to “Cat Island,” a place that is just as terrifying as it sounds…unless you really, really like cats.


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