The Washington Post: D.C. officials want to demolish or renovate 14 of the city’s worst public housing complexes

The Washington Post, July 3, 2019: D.C. officials want to demolish or renovate 14 of the city’s worst public housing complexes

More than 2,600 families are living in units considered in “extremely urgent” condition because of problems including lead, mold, vermin infestations and extensive water damage, D.C. Housing Authority officials said.

The agency’s plan to tear down or improve those complexes over the next decade is likely to spark anxiety for many of those residents, who fear being pushed out of a rapidly gentrifying city or finding that rehabilitated housing, once finished, does not include spaces for them.

The complexes, now federally owned and managed by the Housing Authority, would no longer be owned by the federal government. Private companies could come in to redevelop them into mixed-income or affordable housing, and some residents would get government housing vouchers and have to find a landlord to accept them.

“We have to be truthful, honest and transparent that it’s not going to be an easy road,” Tyrone Garrett, executive director of the D.C. Housing Authority, said this week. “It’s going to require a resident to be inconvenienced due to some type of rehabilitation in their building, or it may require actual relocation for a period of time.”

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