Housing, Crises, and Cronyism

A few years ago, I noted that D.C.’s Mayor Bowser, while committed to ending homelessness and building more housing, proposed a plan that was essentially payback her campaign contributors, while costing far too much for housing. Well, she is consistent (boldface mine):

It’s one of the biggest pots of money in D.C. — $100 million a year to help build and preserve affordable housing in an increasingly expensive city. But a new report is asking if some of that money is going to projects that might not deserve it.

In a report published Thursday, D.C. Auditor Kathy Patterson says that a June 2018 disbursement of more than $78 million from the Housing Production Trust Fund to nine housing projects included five that had been ranked in the bottom half of all applications for money.

That meant the city got 353 fewer units of affordable housing than it could have gotten had it chosen only the highest-ranking applications. Of those, 95 would have gone to the city’s lowest-income residents and families.

Lookee here:

The housing proposals that won despite low scores include Anacostia Gardens Apartments, Petworth Station, Mary’s House and complexes at 1100 Eastern Avenue Northeast and 3500 East Capitol Street NE. All five development firms or their executives have given campaign contributions to Bowser, records show.

I want statehood for D.C. as much as anyone, but God help us if we wind up with Senator Bowser.

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