June 20, 2012
Contact: Ash Kosiewicz, Communications and Advocacy Director
Farah Fosse, Affordable Housing Preservation Director
(202) 425-1303; (202) 590-4369
250 renters expected to follow-up with Council members, housing directors on #1 issue from Mayor’s One City Summit and present solutions to keep the District affordable amid trends showing dramatic loss of low-cost rental units in previous decade
WHAT: 5th Annual Citywide Tenant Town Hall
WHERE: National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW
WHEN: Saturday, June 23rd, 2012; 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
WHO (confirmed): Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham; Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh; Ward 4 Councilmember Muriel Bowser; At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange; Renters from across the city (250 attendees expected); Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Director Nicholas Majett; DC Housing Authority Director Adrianne Todman; DC Housing Finance Agency Director Harry Sewell; Office on Latino Affairs Director Roxana Olivas; Office of the Tenant Advocate Director Johanna Shreve; Department of Housing and Community Development staff; Office on African Affairs; Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs; AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly; CARECEN; Mi Casa; Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center; ONE DC; Legal Aid DC; Bread for the City; CNHED Housing for All Campaign; Empower DC; Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless; We Are Family; Many Languages, One Voice; Ethiopian Community Center; LEDC. ***Invitations to all councilmembers***
WASHINGTON – In the wake of successful efforts to restore $18 million to the Housing Production Trust Fund in the FY13 budget and the release of new data showing the number of low-cost rental units in the city has fallen by half since 2000, the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) is organizing the 5th Annual Tenant Town Hall with renters and community-based organizations from across the city. Residents will present their housing priorities and solutions, including the pressing need to help more renters buy their apartment buildings to prevent their displacement from communities undergoing significant revitalization. Tenants will also champion language access rights for immigrants and their role in the preservation of decent, affordable housing; continued improvements to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ (DCRA) proactive housing code inspections program; and the creation of a new policy to ensure that publicly subsidized apartment buildings slated for foreclosure do not lose their subsidy. The event will also feature the screening of four short bilingual films on tenant rights. In its 5th year, the Tenant Town Hall has served as a dynamic forum through which tenants have secured major victories for DC renters, including the right to sue landlords in court for refusing to fix housing code violations and the creation of the proactive inspections program. The town hall takes place just four months after DC residents identified the lack of affordable housing as the #1 issue facing the District at Mayor Vincent Gray’s One City Summit.
Working families deserve to live in affordable homes and own successful small businesses, but too many are unable to turn these dreams into a reality. The Latino Economic Development Center equips Latinos and other DC-area residents with the skills and financial tools to buy and stay in their homes, take control of the decisions affecting their apartment buildings, and start or expand small businesses. Learn more at http://www.ledcmetro.org.