Prevent Tenant Displacement. Preserve Affordable Housing.

On May 28th the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA -part of the District of Columbia government) closed a rooming house located at 14th and Park NW (3415 14th St NW) due to a lack of electricity. The 15 Latino residents who were living there were given a matter of hours to move out of their housing. It was the second time in 24 hours that DC government asked an all-Latino building to leave their homes. The tenants of 14th Street were then put up in hotel rooms paid for by the city. The tenants were legal tenants and as such have the right to return to the property when it is repaired. In order for the electricity to be turned on the meter box needs to be repaired. Legallyrnthe owner should be required to repair the building however he is refusing to do so. This is expected to be a relatively inexpensive repair. rnrnIn 2001 the city created the Nuisance Abatement Fund – or Repair Fund -which was put into place for precisely this sort of situation – to preserve affordable housing as safe and decent. rnrnAffordable housing advocates are demanding that the city use the Nuisance Abatement Fund to repair this affordable housing and allow the residents to return to their home. rnrnIf the city does not use the Nuisance Abatement Fund the building will remain uninhabitable and vacant until the owner sells the property or renovates it into condominiums or another high-income use. As a result,rnthe tenants will lose their homes and the community will lose another building of affordable housing in Columbia Heights. The landlord has told the DC government that he wants to convert to condominiums. To date, DCRA has said they are not interested in using the repair fund so that the tenants can return.rnrnThe city has agreed to pay for hotels for the residents only until June 20th. rnrnPlease call or write Councilmember Graham immediately and tell him to have DCRA use the Repair Fund to preserve valuable affordable housing in Columbia Heights and to respect tenant rights. rnrn—rnrnSample Email to Jim@grahamwone.comrnrnDear Councilmember Graham, rnrnI am writing to encourage you to ensure that affordable housing is preserved in Ward 1 and that low-income residents are not displaced! rnrnHave DCRA use the Nuisance Abatement Fund to repair 3415 14th St NW and ensure that tenants can return to their homes and that this building remains affordable housing.rnrnName / Address

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.