The city’s efforts to increase affordable housing and decentralize poverty in the city have unfortunately resulted in destabilizing neighborhoods with increased trespassing, gun violence, assaults, drug distribution, public sexual activities and car thefts because of the city’s inability to properly manage the program well. For example, over the past 2 ½ years, the quiet 4400-4900 area of MacArthur Boulevard NW has seen police and EMS presence increase more than 1,000 percent (per city records). Building owners are now offered 175 percent of market-rate rents by the city, and thus incentivized to convert their properties to voucher-only buildings without providing the necessary social services.
The city is not decentralizing vulnerable voucher recipients if the same situation is being re-created in different parts of the city. We all want people to be able to live in peace and security — and not experience an unstable environment. Longtime neighbors want the same.
Steve Faigen, Washington