Two DC Council committees will hold a joint hearing this Thursday on a bill that would require housing providers to also provide on-site services to residents receiving housing assistance.
The “On-Site Services Act of 2019” (B23-0180) would also provide for funding. Affected buildings would have at least 20 apartments, and at least 30 percent of the units would be leased to people on housing assistance. On-site services would include mental health, legal, food and nutrition, child care, education, employment, after school, and social programming. Housing providers would be required to provide services within one year of the passage of this legislation.
The joint hearing of the Committee on Human Services and Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 11th in room 412 of the Wilson Building. The deadline to testify in person has passed, but witnesses can submit written statements until the close of business on July 25th. Copies can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
Secretary to the Council
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 5
Washington, DC 20004
Residents of at least two Ward 3 apartment buildings, Sedgwick Gardens and The Brandywine Apartments, have reported a significant increase in voucher tenants since 2017, when the value of housing vouchers increased to market rate by neighborhood and opened up more housing options across the District.
They have also reported an increase in police visits. One Sedgwick resident, herself formerly homeless and receiving housing assistance, told The Washington Post that some of her neighbors had not been properly screened. The DC Department of Human Services assigned social workers to Sedgwick Gardens early this year.
There have been community meetings with many stakeholders – tenants, Council members, homeless advocates, and the Department of Human Services, but the management companies have been missing from these discussions. According the tenant associations of both the apartment buildings, management companies Daro and Borger have taken a hands-off approach in responding to their concerns, though recently Borger Management met with the Brandywine Tenants Association to discuss security concerns.