Initiative Would Force City to Provide Housing to Anyone Making Less Than $40,000

Filed under: District of Columbia |

By Will Sommer

Supporters of an initiative legalizing marijuana in D.C. say they’ll turn in their proposed ballot language by the end of the week. But pot might not be the only issue on the ballot in November, with the Board of Elections meeting today to consider putting up for a vote an initiative that would guarantee housing to District residents.

If it wins ballot approval and passes in the fall, the Right to Housing Act of 2014 would require the District to provide housing for anyone who’s homeless or makes less than $40,000 a year. If the District couldn’t provide housing to someone, they could sue the city.

The initiative is being considered two months after Vince Gray announced a plan to build 3,200 affordable housing units.

“Last year, the city said they had a $400 million surplus,” said witness Michael Coleman, who said he’s struggled with homelessness. “Well, that means nothing to me.”

Unfortunately for the initiative’s backers, their chances of winning approval from the board look slim. Initiatives can’t force the District to appropriate money, which building enough housing to guarantee shelter for anyone earning less than $40,000 would certainly require.

DCBOE spokeswoman Tamara Robinson wasn’t sure when the board would have a …read more

Read more here: Washington City Paper

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