Contact: Cheryl Cort, firstname.lastname@example.org
We are grateful that yesterday the DC Council has finally adopted the Comp Plan update to amend the woefully out of date 2006 plan. Through the process, advocates worked with the Council and DC Office of Planning to create a much better document to guide the future of our city. The updated plan puts a priority on affordable housing, and sets a goal of 15% for each part of the city. It cites the opportunity in Ward 3, which today has only 1% of the city’s affordable housing stock. The updated Future Land Use Map gives us room to grow, especially around transit.
The update gives us a new focus on bringing racial equity into every land use decision we make. Racial equity will also be advanced by recognizing that Black DC families earn a third of what white families earn. The plan therefore refocuses our affordability goals and plans to meet the needs of Black residents whose median family income is 40% of the region’s. Until now, DC programs often focused on 80% of median family income — or twice the median income of Black families in the District.
The Future Land Use Map will encourage building more homes, especially near transit. This reduces pressure on existing housing, and helps moderate income households find a place to live. At the same time, the plan better addresses displacement of residents. It places a priority on lower income families, many of whom are Black. Now, we need to significantly increase public funding and focus these limited resources on helping those with lower incomes.