DC Housing Priorities Coalition re DC Comp Plan B23-1 June 27, 2019

Comprehensive Plan Framework Element bill, B23-1

DC Housing Priorities Coalition briefing paperJune 27, 2019

Who we are

The DC Housing Priorities Coalition includes: Enterprise Community Partners, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Coalition for Non Profit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED), Somerset Development, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Greater Greater Washington, United Planning Organization, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)

Why we formed

The Housing Priorities Coalition formed to help update the DC Comprehensive Plan, the land use policy that guides development decisions in the District. (Learn more from DC Office of Planning on the DC Comprehensive Plan amendment process here, plandc.dc.gov). See full Housing Priorities Coalition amendment package.

Our DC Housing Prioritiesfor the Comprehensive Plan Amendments

  • Meet the housing demand
  • Equitably distribute housing
  • Best utilize areas near transit
  • Include families:ensurehomes for people of all income levels and of all household sizes, including families.
  • Prioritize affordable housing as a community benefit
  • Preserve existing affordable housing
  • Protect tenants
  • Support neighborhood commercial corridors
  • Clarify zoning authority
  • Improve data collection and transparency

Why these priorities

  • Lack of affordable housing and risk of displacement are among the greatest challenges DC facesto achieving racial equity, quality of life for residents, and economic sustainability for all.
  • Low-income District residents, particularlyresidents of color, do not currently enjoy equal access to affordable housing connected to communities of opportunity, perpetuating a gaping racial equity gap.
  • The Planned Unit Development (PUD) process, which is an important way to produce new housing with substantial affordability, is now held up in constant court challenges resulting in thousands of stalled homes, including hundreds of affordable homes. Court challenges and rulings have relied heavily on narrow interpretations of the Comp Plan, so our proposed amendments help to clarify how the Zoning Commission should judge and prioritize PUDs. Such clarification is critical, because even the riskof lawsuits also has dramatically reduced the use of PUDs for affordable and market-rate housing (example: Park Morton public housing blocked at Bruce Monroe PUD. View list of stalled projects published by Washington Business Journal here)

Our coalition’s five priorities for amendments to B23-1

  1. Housing affordability is the #1 priority for DC
  2. Emphasize tenant protections and anti-displacement
  3. Reinforce principles of fair housing and connections to communities of opportunity
  4. Incorporate OP August 2018 amendments
  5. Ensure effective development approval process amendments
  6. Add matter of right bonus provision for affordable housing
  7. Clarify PUD approval process, including scope of agency review