Washington DC’s Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray has committed $100 million to creating or maintaining affordable housing in his city that would benefit seniors, low-income earners, government workers, and others. The funding for this commitment comes from a $417 million surplus for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, according to The Washington Post. The housing pledge is one of a few that the Mayor made during his State of the District speech on Tuesday.
Housing advocates and others are cautiously optimistic about the pledge, warning that it will take a lot of money and continued diligence to make this happen. And the need is great.
“That’s going to take more than $100 million to accomplish. But $100 million is a good investment toward that goal,” the paper quotes Elizabeth Falcon from the Housing for All nonprofit.
Gray also talked about wage increases for city workers and a proposal for a $15 million fund for nonprofit organizations. The complete text of his speech is available here.
The Mayor held what he called a “citizens summit” last year, in which affordable housing was a huge concern. Housing advocates have said that $20 million, at least, would have to go back to a fund for affordable housing after having been previously diverted for rent supplements. A separate Washington Post story says there’s broad support for the Mayor’s focus on affordable housing.
DC readers: Is affordable housing on your list of top concerns?