The Aug. 9 front-page article “Facing eviction over $25” presented a distorted view of our property and unfairly represented the socially responsible and inclusive redevelopment we are undertaking.
The article did not make clear that the Section 8 contracts require a minimum monthly rent obligation of $25, including utilities. These rents are collected legally through policies that are universally and equitably applied. In our 41 years of ownership, every dollar generated by the property has been reinvested back into the property rather than making a single partner distribution.
This property is privately owned, and our voluntary affordable housing commitments are unprecedented. We will:
●Retain the Section 8 contract that assists 373 very-low-income families.
●Provide 22 percent total affordable housing units; the requirement is 8 percent.
●Provide the opportunity for all residents to remain in the community.
●Build replacement affordable housing first.
●Aim to perform all resident relocations on site at our expense.
With support from agencies, officials, neighbors and residents, we will collectively build an inclusive community with economic diversity and opportunity for all.
Gene Ford Jr., Washington
The writer is chairman of MidCity Financial Corp., which owns Brookland Manor.
The article “Facing eviction over $25” cited the number of times a resident was sued for non-payment of rent but not the number of times she was in arrears of her rent. The article pointed out enforcement of alleged minor violations of the terms of the tenants’ leases. For example, someone was cited for having an unleashed dog. That certainly sounds minor to the ordinary reader, but if an unleashed dog attacked a child, there would be a hue and cry about negligent management.
The article also reported that people were cited for sitting on the building steps or leaning against a fence. When I was a D.C. police officer, I encountered many fresh-air seekers, the majority of them drug dealers.
Finally, there was the tragic event of the young man who committed suicide. The article identified the firearm used as “unregistered.” It was, in more accurate words, an illegal firearm. The victim was said to be lying in bed, very likely in a room with a common wall with the next unit. What if the bullet pierced that wall and someone else was killed?
Robert J. Everett, Arlington
The article quoted an executive of Brookland Manor as saying, “There’s an infinite amount of humanity here.” The property evicted a tenant because her son committed suicide with a firearm. For the Brookland Manor executives, humanity must mean its opposite: cruelty.
Catherine Murphy, Culpeper