Anthony A. Williams, former mayor of Washington, in 2011. (Astrid Riecken/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

I appreciated Courtland Milloy's Dec. 18 Metro column, "Worried about the 'new' D.C.'s future." It told a history that I know well.

As the founder of Manna Inc., a 35-year-old D.C. nonprofit developer of affordable housing, I've seen areas that used to be open-air drug markets become stabilized by the development of affordable housing and long-term D.C. residents. I've also seen many of the people who made those neighborhoods worth fighting for forced out, no longer able to afford the rent in their gentrifying city. That's why we at Manna work to close the racial wealth gap and prevent displacement of longtime Washingtonians through affordable ­homeownership and rental preservation. I'm glad former mayor Anthony Williams continues to work to raise funds for affordable housing, and I applaud his efforts to help solve our current affordable-housing crisis.

To get there, we're going to need increased commitment from the mayor and the D.C. Council for the District's Housing Production Trust Fund, which is how most affordable housing gets built here, and the Home Purchase Assistance Program, the District's down-payment assistance for first-time homebuyers. As Mr. Williams said, "It's urgent, but not too late."

Jim Dickerson, Washington

The writer is founder and chief executive of Manna Inc.