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

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.

The #MeToo movement has changed the way we think about and understand consent and assault and continues to illuminate how society has normalized illegal and abusive behaviors.

But when those behaviors happen within the context of a relationship, determining what is illegal or abusive can be more difficult, especially for young people in vulnerable situations. How can we help them define and identify abuse and feel empowered to make safe choices?

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments recently announced that 56,250 new housing units are needed in the next decade to serve low- and moderate-income households in the region. Ten percent of those units may come from a somewhat surprising partner: the faith community.