Discover the latest insights and solutions for making Greater DC a place of opportunity for all.

On June 26, the US House of Representatives passed legislation to make the District of Columbia the 51st state by a 232–180 vote. It marked the first time either chamber of Congress approved a DC statehood bill.

When COVID-19 began to spread in early March, youth service agencies scrambled to close their schools and program centers to keep everyone safe. Then they quickly turned their programming into virtual content—all while ensuring families could meet their basic needs. The pandemic demanded rapid responses, so service providers developed innovative ways to meet young people’s needs this summer.

With the COVID-19 crisis leaving millions of Americans out of work, many renters face the prospect of not being able to pay another month’s rent. Calls for extended unemployment benefits, fully funded rental assistance, and national eviction moratoria have become major policy proposals to contain a probable and daunting surge in housing instability and homelessness.

Recent protests in response to the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many Black people before them, as well as COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on people of color, are bringing renewed calls to examine how to dismantle systemic racism in the US. Improving public housing—and the lives of public housing residents—is one concrete area that could help address the nation’s long history of racial inequity.

The Washington Housing Initiative (WHI), launched by Federal City Council  in partnership with local real estate firm JBG Smith, acquires rental buildings in neighborhoods facing rising property values and keeps a majority of the apartments affordable for households with moderate incomes. It is one of a handful of innovative models designed to address worsening housing affordability and neighborhood displacement in rapidly growing urban regions across the US.