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August 10, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Facing eviction in a gentrifying neighborhood

HOUSING
– At a massive apartment complex that is up for redevelopment in a changing DC neighborhood, low-income tenants are facing eviction proceedings over such infractions as owing $25 in outstanding rent and walking dogs without leashes. In perhaps the most egregious case, the property owner moved to evict a woman whose teenage son used a gun to commit suicide in her apartment (WaPo, 8/9):

District housing lawyers…see eviction lawsuits over small lease violations as one in an arsenal of quiet but aggressive pressure tactics landlords use to clear buildings before redevelopment; another is allowing units to deteriorate so people want to move out on their own.

Lawsuits alleging extremely small debts in particular illuminate what they call a little-known but reoccurring phenomenon in gentrifying Washington. […]

Eviction lawsuits at Brookland Manor rarely led to actual evictions…But in a digital age when court information is easy to access and cheap to acquire, lawsuits over small money can cause big problems, even when tenants aren’t forcibly removed. This is especially true in quickly developing areas such as the District, where the competition for affordable housing has already pushed 1,500 families into homelessness.

Related: The experiences related in this article reflect how many systems and institutions in American society perpetuate racial inequities, which john powell explained in his talk on structural racism earlier this year as part of WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series.

DC’s affordable housing fund isn’t doing enough for low-income residents, an audit says (GGW, 8/9)

HOMELESSNESS | Amanda Andere of Funders Together to End Homelessness calls for more public-private partnerships to advance solutions to homelessness across the country. (HuffPo, 8/9)

JUSTICE/RACE | The Justice Department has released a scathing report on racial discrimination and the use of excessive force within the Baltimore police department. (WaPo, 8/9)

FOOD | A local film executive produced by Prince Charitable Trusts and the Center for Environmental Filmmaking called “The Culture of Collards” is up for an award for best food video from Saveur Blog. Click here to watch the film and, if you like it, vote for it to win.

Related: The film stars someone who should be familiar to the WRAG community: Michael Twitty, who spoke as part of WRAG’s 2014 Brightest Minds series about culinary justice and building a more inclusive food movement. (Daily, April 2014)

PHILANTHROPY | Giving Circles’ Unique Role in Philanthropy to Marginalized Communities (NPQ, 8/9)

REGION | A study finds what we probably all already knew – this region is not the place to live if you’re looking for the most bang for your 100 bucks. (DCist, 8/9)


Apparently, the Olympics used to be much nerdier.

– Rebekah

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