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The District of Columbia Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners voted Thursday, January 17, to approve a series of principles and priorities for a comprehensive, strategic plan of action the agency can take to create financial structures that will enable the fastest recourse in stabilizing its portfolio. The framework is aimed at addressing health and safety hazards in 2,500 units that require urgent action and another 4,500 homes in critical condition with an estimated immediate need of $343 million for fiscal 2019, based on recent inspections.

The board action sets priorities for continuing focus on low-income housing for Washingtonians, keeping as much control over DCHA properties and land as economically feasible, and ensuring no actions can be taken without board approval.

“This extremely important vote will allow DCHA to move with urgency to maintain safe and healthy housing for this city’s most vulnerable residents. That is the mission I am dedicated to fulfilling,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “This agency has had to defer necessary maintenance due to the extreme cutbacks in federal funding, nearly 50 percent less between 2001 and 2012, and we must take action in order save this affordable housing and to ensure that these residents live in safe and hazard-free homes. We must move as quickly as possible, maintaining integrity, accountability, and responsibility.”

Shortly after arriving to DCHA in October 2017, Executive Director Tyrone Garrett launched an initiative to ensure that DCHA’s most vulnerable residents would live in conditions that are free of environmental and safety hazards. To advance this vision, Garrett ordered thorough environmental inspections and risk assessments throughout the agency’s portfolio.

As a result of the findings of these inspections, the conditions of some 2,500 units required immediate attention. Another nearly 4,500 were found to be in such critical condition as to threaten the long-term viability of the units if left unaddressed. To address all of the problems found throughout the portfolio, DCHA needs approximately $1.3 billion in funding.   

The resolution further states that prior to any actions taken by DCHA that would affect any property or financial agreement in the future would come to the board for a vote.

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Last modified: 1/17/2019 5:47:44 PM