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September 20, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

DC’s Affordable Housing Crisis a Focus for Mayor Bowser

HOUSING | The lack of affordable housing in Washington, DC is affecting people at almost every income level. It is no longer considered a “poor people’s issue” – it’s a middle-class, senior citizen, young-worker, and family issue – and Mayor Muriel Bowser has focused her economic agenda on solving it(WaPo, 9/16):

Bowser is betting hundreds of millions of dollars and her entire economic agenda on the idea that her government can supply so many housing units sheltered from market forces that residents’ fear of being priced out will subside. During her campaign, Bowser made a commitment to put $100 million into the city’s affordable-housing fund every year. What does $100 million a year get you? For the five-year period through 2017, the year before Bowser goes up for reelection, the District is on pace to in total spend nearly $1 billion on an array of affordability initiatives. […]

At a citywide town hall meeting residents raised housing costs as their No. 1 concern – topping schools and crime. “That really was an inflection point,” said David Bowers, vice president of Enterprise Community Partners, [and WRAG board member]… “There were a lot of [advocates] that had been going for years asking for more money for housing. Then, at that point, people realized it really was a citywide concern.”

Related: Housing affordability in the Greater Washington region is a major priority of WRAG’s. WRAG is a co-convener of the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group, a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector regional leaders (including David Bowers, quoted in the story above) that is working to elevate the visibility of, and broaden support for bold, thoughtful, and collaborative solutions for the housing affordability challenge. And, in case you missed it, WRAG and Enterprise Community Loan Fund just passed the initial goal for Our Region, Your Investment, a unique impact investing initiative, with $7 million already raised to help preserve and produce affordable housing in the region.

RACE
– Sometimes, advocates are warned to be cautious about causing “racism fatigue.”  In her latest column, WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland turns that idea on its head. (Daily, 9/20)

– DC’s Racial Inequality Continues to Widen, Even as the City Sees Substantial Economic Growth (DCFPI, 9/15)

HEALTH/EQUITY | Until recently, researchers haven’t included African Americans as much as Caucasian or European descent populations in studies on diseases and medical trials. (NPR, 6/16)

EVENTS
  Join the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers for the upcoming Census 2020: Why Philanthropy Counts webinar on  October 18, 2016, 2:00 – 3:00 PM, for a conversation about why the census matters and the role that philanthropy can play in ensuring a fair and accurate count.

– WRAG Members: WRAG is an official partner for the 2016 Independent Sector conference here in DC this November 16-18. Register by September 22 to save an extra $500. Email Rebekah Seder for the discount code.

COMMUNITY
– The Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s 2016 #EXCELAward finalists have been announced, including WRAG’s own Tamara Copeland! Learn more about the finalists.

– Congratulations to Tobi Printz-Platnick, senior program officer at the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, as well as WRAG’s own Gretchen Greiner-Lott for being accepted into Leadership Greater Washington’s Class of 2017!


Noooooo …. creepy clowns have now been spotted in Annapolis. – Buffy

One Comment

  1. Maggie Osborn / Sep 20 2016 12:39 pm

    Thank you for your leadership and clear, honest tone that is encouraging us all to feel ready to finally move this conversation into our hearts and bones. Proud to be part of your philanthropic community.

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