Washington Interfaith Network has many things to be thankful for as they head into this week of Thanksgiving.
After twelve years of organizing, Washington Interfaith Network leaders and former Temple Courts residents gathered in person and over zoom to witness the groundbreaking of a new mixed income housing development. Residents were able to share their experiences working on this deeply personal campaign over the years. They had a dream to bring their community back from a parking lot into housing and made this dream a reality by making their voices heard through countless testimonies, meetings, and actions. WIN leaders stood with Mayor Bowser on the 3.5 acre plot of land that will soon become 750 units of housing, 252 of which will be 60% Area Median Income (AMI) and another 252 of which will be 30% AMI. WIN leaders also look forward to the Temple Courts development becoming a model for mixed income development, with market, middle income and hundreds of units of deeply affordable housing.
The Temple Court project is just the beginning of WINs goals of achieving more affordable housing for the city’s residents. Last Friday, Novemebr 20, the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) released its Reservation 13 Redevelopment RFP, setting affordability standards that potential land developers must abide by. DMPED’s RFP includes WIN’s language of ⅓, ⅓, ⅓. The deeply affordable and the middle-income thresholds are not perfect but are better than it would have been without WIN's organizing! WIN needs YOU to continue sharing their social media content in order to raise broader community awareness and maintain DMPED’s attention--this is only the beginning. The next step is to meet developers and challenge them to maximize affordabilitiy in their proposals..
This last week, WIN leaders met with the president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, David Velasquez. After hearing and considering WIN’s demands, he spent an hour respectfully laying his written proposal in response. His proposal includes prevailing wage for all of their contractors and an increase of 100-120 good local jobs each year.
To top off an incredible week of progress for WIN, they have committed to increased spending on Black owned business with concrete inputs and regular reporting requirements. In addition to that commitment, the organization is working towards a large capital fund dedicated solely to Black businesses, The capital fund in still the planning phase, but they are extremely pleased with the progress they are making.