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Mayor Bowser to Lead Conversation on Housing Equity in the District at Howard Theatre

Friday, February 7, 2020

(Washington, DC) – On Saturday, February 8, at 10 am, Mayor Muriel Bowser, led by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the DC Office of Planning, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Mayor's Office of Policy, will host the third in a series of public conversations to discuss how the bold housing goals set by the Mayor will advance housing equity and disrupt the historic impact of housing segregation in the District. The discussion is free and open to the public and will take place at the Howard Theatre.

“DC is among the first cities in the nation to set neighborhood-specific affordable housing goals – part of our larger strategy to build a more equitable and affordable city by adding 36,000 new homes by 2025. Now we need to work together across all eight wards to reach our goals,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’ve heard from residents in every part of DC that they want to be part of the solution. Joining these conversations is one way Washingtonians can get involved and advocate for the housing investments we know are needed in our upcoming budget.”

The conversation will explore the impact of historic federal and local exclusionary and racially discriminatory land use policies and how the continued legacy of these policies impacts residents’ economic opportunity. In May, Mayor Bowser signed a Mayor’s Order directing District agencies to identify new policies, tools, and initiatives to begin fulfilling her goal of creating 36,000 new housing units, 12,000 of them affordable, by 2025.

“Black History Month is a time where we celebrate and honor the history before us. For too long, historic land use policies have contributed to the racial and economic digression of African American neighborhoods across the nation,” said Ashley Emerson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of African American Affairs. “Now, Mayor Bowser is taking bold steps to expand and advance housing equity in Washington, DC.”

At the event, attendees will hear from Mayor Bowser in a fireside chat with Don Edwards, CEO and Principal of Justice & Sustainability Associates, and engage in Undesign the Redline, an interactive exhibit connecting the intentional and systematic racial housing segregation of the 1930s to political and social issues of today. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet DC housing agency leadership and staff and ask questions.

In October, the Mayor released the Housing Equity Report and the District’s draft Comprehensive Plan proposal. By establishing goals specific to each planning area of the city, the Housing Equity Report makes Washington, DC among the first cities in the nation to create area-specific goals for affordable housing and dedicate an entire initiative to examining the barriers and opportunities within each area.

Residents can register for the event using this link.

Saturday, February 8, at 10 am

Howard Theatre
620 T Street, NW
*Closest Metro Station: Shaw-Howard University* 

All reporters and other media interested in attending the event are asked to RSVP to [email protected]. To view the event online, visit or tune in on Channel 16 (DCN).