As Mayor Bowser Monday announced that the city had renovated a vacant city-owned house and would soon sell it to a low income family, the local ANC Commissioner applauded the move. Ward 5 ANC Commissioner Kathy Henderson, who attended the ceremony in the 800 block of 19th NE, said it’s a way to help decrease crime in the Langston Carver neighborhood which has more than its share.
This comes as the city’s seen a 24 percent increase in homicides over this time a year ago, as well as a 17 percent jump in carjackings.
Henderson, who manages two apartment buildings across the street from the formerly vacant house says it is a struggle to keep drug dealers from hanging inside and out of buildings in the area.
She showed us where she used allen wrench screws as well as phillips screws to secure door hinges to buildings because the allen screws are more difficult remove by the drug boys who want access to hallways.
Henderson says she believes removal of trash also cuts crime. She’s urged the mayor to make DC Public Works do a better job of keeping the blocks trash free. She said a group she was with pick up 45 bags of trash in the 700 and 800 blocks of 19th.
”Anywhere there is trash and disorder there’s crime, so when you remove those signs of neglect,” said Henderson that cuts crime, adding that studies have shown behavior is often affected by environment.
During the house opening news conference, 7 News asked Mayor Bowser about rising crime numbers and whether they had any new strategy. She responded they were following the same policy of getting guns and the people who use guns off the streets.
Henderson said she believes with MPD short of officers, the city should do as much as possible also to keep a neat up the appearance of DC neighborhoods, as a crime deterrent.
The mayor said the city plans to continue renovating and selling vacant properties it owns. She said DC owns about 100 houses that ended up in the city’s hands because of tax forfeiture and other such issues.
The 1000 sq ft house they unveiled Monday they valued at $600,000, but said after low income subsidies, a family of four could get it for $200,000 if their income was less than $71,000 annually.
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Monday’s event highlighted the proposed investments to support housing and economic mobility, including:
- $13 million to support 600 families in Career MAP
- $8 million to increase available down payment assistance through Home Purchase Assistance Program
- $1.5 million enhancement for Heirs Property Services
- $2 million to increase available funds for Single Family Residential Rehab
Bowser’s $19.7 billion budget also proposes a major increase in downtown D.C. housing tax abatement — from $6.8M to $41M in FY28.
For more information on the budget, go here.