Where Do The At-Large Council Candidates Stand on Housing?

by Shilpi Paul

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In light of tomorrow’s special election for DC’s At-Large Councilmember, UrbanTurf wanted to get a sense of the candidates’ views on housing policy. We sifted through each candidate’s website to find any official policy stances, read their responses to housing-related questions on Let’s Choose DC, and looked at a few other sources as well. Please note that the snippets below are just to give a sense of what the candidates have publicly stated in regards to housing and should not be considered a comprehensive look at how each views the city’s housing policy.

Anita Bonds (D)

In an interview with AFRO, Bonds expressed a desire for the city to do more to help seniors stay in their homes. She, like many candidates, also wants the city to put money towards the Housing Production Trust Fund to “make sure housing in the city is affordable.” On her website, Bonds reiterates the need for more affordable and workforce housing, and her focus on supporting the aging population.

In response to a question from the Washington Post, Bonds stated a desire to eliminate property taxes for homeowners who are at least 80 years old and have lived in their homes for at least 20 years. Lastly, in an interview with StreetSense, Bonds expressed the desire to create a “permanent oversight committee” to deal with affordable housing.

Matthew Frumin (D)

Frumin, according to his website, also supports funding the Housing Production Trust Fund to increase the stock of affordable units. He also proposed offering $500 monthly housing vouchers to residents who work in community-serving professions like teachers, police officers or firefighters.

In response to a question posed on Let’s Choose DC about how to best accommodate DC’s growth, Frumin endorsed following through with large-scale developments like McMillan and Walter Reed, and encouraged mixed-use development in commercial corridors where residents would not need to use cars. He also supports creating small dwelling units on currently unused land and supports the idea that homeowners should be able to create “limited and supervised” accessory dwelling units on their lots.

Frumin also supports tax adjustments that would help seniors stay in their homes in neighborhoods where prices are rising. Similarly to Bond, in response to a question from the Washington Post, Frumin stated that he would be in favor of freezing property tax increases for homeowners who have been in their homes for at least 20 years.

Elissa Silverman (D)

Silverman is in favor of funding the Housing Production Trust Fund, and states support of the inclusionary zoning law on her website. She expresses a desire to “work with developers to build multi-unit housing for all kinds of households, not just studios and one-bedroom apartments.” Silverman has also spoken out in strong support of moving forward with the Hill East Master Plan for developing Reservation 13.

Paul Zukerberg (D)

Zukerberg doesn’t address the issue of housing on his website. However, in an interview with StreetSense, he stated that he wanted to increase the homestead tax deduction to help residents stay in their homes, he wanted to require developers to pay into the “Affordable Housing Trust” when they apply for any exemptions, and wanted to “make sure that the money we are spending on affordable housing goes to the housing, and not to the politically connected insiders with sweetheart connections.”

In his answer to Let’s Choose DC’s growth question, Zukerberg reiterates these ideas. He specifies that the city should consider granting developers limited height increases if they promise to include affordable housing units. He also suggests fighting Pepco rate increases.

Patrick Mara (Rep.)

Like other candidates, Mara supports funding the Housing Production Trust Fund. He also supports rent-control laws, and believes they should be strengthened.

On the topic of accessory dwelling units, Mara apparently does not support the idea of letting homeowners rent out portions of their homes. He also opposes the development of 5333 Connecticut Avenue NW, a controversial by-right development that may lead to a new policy of ANC and community engagement for by-right projects.

It should be noted that the DC Realtors Association endorsed Mara.

Perry Redd (Statehood Green)

In response to a Let’s Choose DC question, Redd expressed a desire to allow DC to have taller, multi-family buildings. He also supports repurposing currently unused government-owned buildings, like closed school buildings, so that they are “used to provide social services, such as housing for low-income persons.”

See other articles related to: housing policy, dc city council

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/where_do_the_at-large_council_candidates_stand_on_housing/6963

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