(Washington, DC) – Exactly one year ago, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Office of Planning (OP) Director Andrew Trueblood released the Mayor’s Housing Equity Report and the District’s draft Comprehensive Plan proposal. Then, in April of this year, the Mayor submitted the District’s Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) proposal to the Council of the District of Columbia, noting at the time that given the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, an updated plan is even more critical in 2020. Today, Mayor Bowser is calling on the Council to approve the Comprehensive Plan this year.
“The Council’s timely consideration and passage of the Comp Plan is critical,” said Mayor Bowser. “The only way we can meet the District’s goal of adding 36,000 homes by 2025 is with an updated Comp Plan. Additionally, thousands of residents spent many hours and days helping us put together a plan that represents the goals and values of our city, and now, more than ever, we need to make sure we are guided by and acting on those values.”
In addition to providing a suite of tools and approaches that can be immediately applied in response to the economic, social, and public health impacts caused by COVID-19, an updated Comp Plan is a critical component of the Mayor’s goal to build 36,000 new homes by 2025, including 12,000 affordable homes.
In updating the Comp Plan, OP heard from over 10,000 residents and stakeholders, and the plan’s themes reflect the community’s feedback. Specifically, the Comp Plan proposal emphasizes the importance of equity and resilience as the District works to meet current and future housing challenges. If the Council does not act this year, the District risks not hitting its housing goals and not being ready to address issues of equity and recovery.
Residents and stakeholders can visit plandc.dc.gov for more information about the Comp Plan, including information about the Council’s scheduled hearings on Thursday, November 12, and Friday, November 13, and how to submit written testimony.
The original release, sent exactly one year ago today, is below:
Mayor Bowser Makes Washington, DC the First City in the Nation to Set Affordable Housing Goals by Neighborhood
Mayor Kicks Off DC Housing Week with Release of Housing Equity Report and Full Draft Comprehensive Plan
(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by DC Office of Planning (OP) Director Andrew Trueblood to release the Mayor’s 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.
“What both the Housing Equity Report and the updated Comprehensive Plan recognize is that housing is a citywide challenge that requires citywide solutions,” said Mayor Bowser. “Washington, DC will continue to change – we can be sure of that. These plans are focused on how we manage that change and balance competing interests in order to ensure a vibrant, equitable, and resilient city, not only for us, but for our children and grandchildren.”
The Office of Planning and Department of Housing and Community Development collaborated to produce the Housing Equity Report. The report provides an analysis of current affordable housing distribution and proposes specific targets to achieve Mayor Bowser’s bold goal of building 36,000 new homes, including 12,000 homes affordable to low-income residents, by 2025.
Recognizing the critical need to make progress toward these goals, the Mayor also released the draft Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) proposal today. The Comp Plan is a high-level guiding document that sets a positive, long-term vision for the District, through the lens of its physical growth and change. It is divided into 25 elements and two maps, the Future Land Use Map and the Generalized Policy Map. Housing is a critical theme of the proposed Comp Plan, and achieving the Mayor’s bold goals will require changes being proposed to the text and maps. In addition to housing, the other three major themes of this update are equity, resilience, and leveraging public resources.
“Mayor Bowser recognizes the urgency of addressing housing affordability and opportunity. She has pushed the District to use all of our affordable housing tools to ensure an economically diverse future,” said Office of Planning Director Andrew Trueblood. “With the Comprehensive Plan and the Housing Equity Report, we can be intentional about how and where we change, and how we balance competing interests in order to ensure a vibrant, equitable and resilient city for our future.”
The Comp Plan was approved in 2006 and amended in 2011. Given how Washington, DC has changed in that time, it is important that the plan is amended now to reflect today’s conditions, opportunities, and challenges.
“Mayor Bowser has challenged us to create a more inclusive city, one that gives all residents a fair shot at a pathway to the middle class,” said Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “Today, Mayor Bowser makes DC the first city in the nation to set affordable housing targets by neighborhood. This goal-setting strategy will help us achieve our overall mission of building a more inclusive DC.”
The release of the Draft Comp Plan marks the beginning of a public review period. OP is providing a public review period of 67 days to accommodate review of the amended Elements; from October 15, 2019 through December 20, 2019. The Administration has prioritized ANC feedback during this public review period by providing 108 days (October 15, 2019 through January 31, 2020) for ANCs to meet with constituents and submit Official Actions (Resolutions).