Tag: housing

Is the solution to the District’s housing crisis to invest in the middle class?

HOUSING | A strategy to produce and preserve workforce housing is gaining support among elected officials and developers to address the affordable housing shortage in the District. (WAMU, 5/2)

In her proposed 2020 budget, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has called for the creation of an unprecedented $20 million “workforce housing” fund that would subsidize homes affordable to middle-income professionals like teachers, social workers, and first responders… Many developers applaud the mayor’s workforce fund, saying it will help incentivize builders to construct and preserve housing that isn’t market-rate or “luxury.” Businesses tend to like it, too, because they want to be where the workforce lives. But the applause is countered by critics who say the mayor should instead invest that $20 million in low-income housing — particularly public housing, an estimated third of which is currently uninhabitable due to hazardous conditions.

EDUCATION | Prince George’s County may become the first jurisdiction in the country to use a public-private partnership to build and maintain several of its public schools, to speed up construction and decrease debt. (WaPo, 5/5)

LGBTQIA+ | Transgender teens in schools with bathroom restrictions are at higher risk of sexual assault, study says (CNN, 5/6)

WORKFORCE
– This co-working space doubles as a child care center. (WAMU, 5/6)

– Participants in a District workforce development program have not received the training they expected and are still unemployed. (CP, 5/2)

PRISON REFORM
– The District is looking into how it might obtain local control over the parole system again. (DCist, 5/1)

Maryland just banned placing pregnant inmates in solitary confinement. Yes, that was apparently happening. (WaPo, 5/1)

VIRGINIA | Fairfax board adopts budget with more for affordable housing, environment (WaPo, 3/7)

DISTRICT | The DC Inspector General says the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs has failed to track and collect on fines from businesses, developers and landlords who break the rules. (WAMU, 3/7)

COMMUNITY | Congrats to Natalie Madeira Cofield, founder & CEO of Walker’s Legacy and the Walker’s Legacy Foundation, for being named the Women in Business Champion of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. (Walker’s Legacy Foundation is a fiscally-sponsored project of WRAG.)

PHILANTHROPY | New CEO at Council on Foundations Pledges Greater Accountability (Chronicle, 5/1)


Sleep in a ‘Glamping Globe’ on the roof of the Watergate? Yes please.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday!

– Buffy

Pay Equity Act in Montgomery County is aimed at reducing gender pay disparities

GENDER/EQUITY | New legislation introduced in Montgomery County is aimed at reducing pay disparities between male and female county employees. County Council Member Evan Glass’s “Pay Equity” act will prohibit county government employers from basing salary offers on applicants’ past earnings, and will require the county executive’s office to assess gender pay equity within county government every two years. (WAMU, 5/7)

Women in Maryland typically earn 86 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the National Women’s Law Center, which supports barring employers from asking job candidates about their salary history. Black and Latina women face even larger disparities across the state.  “Since wages for women generally lag behind wages for men, and wages for women of color lag even further behind wages of white men, basing a starting salary on a person’s current salary is likely to result in an adverse impact on the future wages of women employees,” says a county memorandum.

TRANSIT
– A just-released study highlights recommendations for transforming the Greater Washington region’s bus network into a better system that works when, where, and how customers need it. (WaPo, 5/6)

– The District is looking into adding tolls and implementing decongestion pricing to address traffic concerns. (WTOP, 5/2)

EDUCATION | Can DC’s public schools survive the coming enrollment surge? (GGWash, 5/2)

HOUSING
– Amazon says that its presence in the Washington region won’t cause housing costs to spike like they did in Seattle due to better planning. (WaPo, 5/3)

– Newly Enforced DCHA Policy Prematurely Cuts Families Off From Rental Assistance, Housing Attorneys Say (WCP, 5/1)

WORKFORCE | The DC Fiscal Policy Institute highlights the history of May Day and the fight for workers’ rights in the District. (DCFPI, 5/1)

SHUTDOWN | The shutdown may be over, but contractors continue to suffer from it. (WBJ, 5/6)

CLIMATE/ENVIRONMENT | According to a new United Nations report, up to 1 million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, and humans will suffer. (WaPo, 5/6)

PHILANTHROPY | How Philanthropy Can Preserve Press Freedom (Chronicle, 4/29)


Yay and yum – Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are at their most plentiful in seven years.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

Fairfax County plans to invest millions to boost affordable housing

HOUSING
– Fairfax County officials are discussing new plans to strengthen investments in affordable housing programs in fiscal year 2020. They also plan to increase spending right now to $15 million to help developers pursue affordable housing projects, and to hire a new “housing in all policies coordinator” who will manage the county’s efforts. (WBJ, 4/29)

Those changes are merely the first stage of a broader effort to meet the recommendations of a task force studying the county’s housing needs. That group wants to see Fairfax add 5,000 new homes affordable to people making 60 percent or less of the area median income — that would apply to anyone making an annual salary of at least $46,350 — over the next 15 years. To meet that goal, the board is directing county staff to draft “innovative land use policies” to expand affordable housing projects, running the gamut from new density bonuses to more flexible parking requirements.

– As the number of families with multiple generations living under one roof is rising, home builders are focusing on extended families. (WAMU, 4/24)

Should cities subsidize housing for a family making $141,000? (WaPo, 4/29)

VIRGINIA | Amazon posts first jobs for HQ2, says project is ‘ahead of schedule’ (WaPo, 4/29)

LGBTQIA+/EDUCATION | The school boards in Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, and Arlington are supporting the rights of transgender students, weighing in on a case involving a teenager’s legal fight over his attempt to use the boys’ restroom at his high school. (WaPo, 4/29)

IMMIGRATION | Trump tightens asylum rules, will make immigrants pay fees to seek humanitarian refuge (WaPo, 4/30)

ENVIRONMENT | Global Inequality Is 25% Higher Due to Climate Instability (Truthout, 4/27)

HATE/JUSTICE | One day after Passover ended, an interfaith group gathered at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society to celebrate at an event that featured a moment of silence — and a continued resolve to counter hatred — after Saturday’s deadly shooting at a California synagogue. (WTOP, 4/29)

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS | Arlington plan for managing mass casualties is first in nation (WTOP, 4/29)

GUN VIOLENCE | Newtown Wasn’t an End for Gun Control. It Was a Beginning. (NYT, 4/29)

PHILANTHROPY | How Philanthropy Can Curb the Rise of Hate: Count It, Condemn it, Confront It (Chronicle, 4/29)


Interesting visual of 25 years of sprawl in Northern Virginia.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday!

– Buffy

New “Graduation Guides” designed to boost college and career readiness for DC students

EDUCATION | DC Public Schools is implementing a new “Guide to Graduation, College, and Career” for high school students that tracks their progress towards graduation requirements and gives them information about college and career options. This effort is part of a larger movement across the country to make education data more available and accessible. (WAMU, 4/25)

The implementation comes just one year after DC’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education found 34 percent of DC’s high school graduates hadn’t actually met the requirements for receiving a diploma … and the graduation rate for black and Latino students had dropped. “It’s definitely an enhancement to our transparency around graduation,” said DCPS Chancellor Lewis Ferebee of the guides. “It’s a way that we can monitor, along with families, where students are on their journey to graduation.”

YOUTH/JUSTICE/RACISM | Opinion: ‘It hurt’: A 9-year-old boy was handcuffed. But how many other DC children have also been? (WaPo, 4/27)

HOUSING
– Montgomery County Council calls for an additional $5 million for its affordable housing fund. (Bethesda Magazine, 4/26)

Affordable assisted living center could be coming to Northeast DC (Urban Turf, 4/26)

WORKFORCE | Economists are learning to love the minimum wage. (CityLab, 4/26)

RACISM | An author speaking at the Politics and Prose bookstore in DC was interrupted by a small group of white nationalists. (WTOP, 4/29)

ENVIRONMENT | Arlington, one of the most environmentally progressive jurisdictions in Virginia, is ending curbside glass recycling. (WAMU, 4/26)

PHILANTHROPY | Melinda Gates Wants Nonprofits and Foundations to Put More Emphasis on Women (Chronicle, 4/23)

NONPROFITS | Compass is providing pro bono consulting for nonprofits on a variety of topics, from board development to technology strategy. Learn more about the offer and how to apply for services here.


Don’t have time to rewatch all 21 previous Marvel movies leading up to Avengers: Endgame? No problem – here’s your quick primer.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Tuesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

Northern Virginia’s ranking of healthiest communities hides inequities

HEALTH/EQUITY
Op-ed: Northern Virginia’s recent health rankings mask big disparities, argues Patricia Mathews, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation (and former chair of WRAG’s board). She calls on leaders to reverse decades of disinvestment by using census tract-level data to focus interventions and investments on those areas with the most marginalized communities. (WaPo, 4/19)

Every March, a national study comes out showing that Northern Virginia is home to the healthiest counties in Virginia… Northern Virginia should be proud of our overall health and well-being — but also well-informed about what’s missing from the county health rankings story. The rankings are based on averages that mask tremendous disparities in Northern Virginia. And if you dig deeper, census tract data paint a stark picture of Northern Virginia’s 15 “islands of disadvantage” — clusters of places where residents face multiple health challenges, including poverty, less education, unaffordable housing and a lack of health insurance.

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS
Op-ed: DC’s homeless encampment ‘cleanups’ are only making things worse (WaPo, 4/19)

– A proposed HUD policy that would eject immigrant families from public housing to make room for what it calls the “most vulnerable” is being fought by housing advocates. (CityLab, 4/19)

CENSUS 2020 | The Supreme Court heard arguments about the proposed citizenship question on the 2020 Census yesterday. Here’s a run-down of what happened. (WaPo, 4/23)

CHILD CARE | For Families Who Need Them Most, Child Care Subsidies Haven’t Always Helped (WAMU, 4/23)

GREATER DC REGION | The mass exodus from Greater Washington continues. And it got worse last year. (WBJ, 4/23)

IMMIGRATION | Some asylum-seekers currently detained by ICE have initiated several hunger strikes, demanding release as their cases are adjudicated. (NPR, 4/19)

TRANSPORTATION
– Metro is putting $65 million toward sustainability efforts. (Curbed, 4/22)

Arlington County to encourage biking with safer bike paths, more riding options (WTOP, 4/24)


As we continue to celebrate Earth Day this week, here’s a list of 101 ways to fight climate change

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday!

– Buffy

New research shows how a citizenship question would suppress the census count

CENSUS 2020
– Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding the attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The Court will consider whether the administration violated administrative law and the Constitution in adding the question to the census. (WaPo, 4/22)

A crucial issue in the case is whether adding this question for the first time since 1950 will hurt the ability of the census to accurately count the American population. In particular, critics of the administration fear the question will dissuade some US residents, especially immigrants, from answering the census. Research suggests these fears are justified. Surveys and experiments show that the citizenship question would make people less likely to respond to the census and provide complete information if they do respond. This is particularly true for Latinos and immigrants.

Opinion: A C.E.O.’s Plea: Don’t Mess With the Census (NYT, 4/22)

RACIAL EQUITY/EDUCATION
– Federal officials are investigating a complaint that alleged that Montgomery County schools discriminated against Asian American students while seeking to address racial disparities in two middle school magnet programs. (WaPo, 4/21)

Opinion: Georgetown students have voted in favor of reparations. Will America? (WaPo, 4/21)

CLIMATE | Schools aren’t teaching students about climate change, and a majority of parents, regardless of political background, wish they would. (NPR, 4/22)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM | Criminal justice reform advocates are alarmed by a proposed new federal hiring requirement that would throw up a potential roadblock for those accused of misdemeanors or low-level felonies. (WaPo, 4/21)

HOUSING/EQUITY | District residents who live in federally-assisted housing can be evicted for marijuana use even though it is now legal in DC – but a new bill may change that. (dcist, 4/19)

TRANSPORTATION | The Greater Washington region is one step closer to the development of a 35-mile underground tunnel that would take electric vehicles from DC to Baltimore in 15 minutes. (WAMU, 4/18)


Happy Earth Day! Here’s a few things going on to celebrate.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday, and Friday!

– Buffy

The number of children in the region in foster care is down

CHILD WELFARE | There are half as many kids in foster care in the Greater Washington region than there were 10 years ago, and child welfare experts believe this is a sign of success for programs working to keep families together. But despite the achievements, there are still challenges. (WAMU, 4/17)

While the numbers of children in foster care in the region has declined since 2008…there’s now a larger percentage of older children in foster care who need placement with families, which this presents a different challenge… Additionally, agencies say they need more parents who are available to foster. The system’s racial makeup is also off balance. In 2017, more than two-thirds of children in foster care in the Washington region were African American, according to the report by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

RACIAL EQUITY | Two new updates from the Meyer Foundation team: Maryland Program Director Julian Haynes writes about Meyer’s work to address school pushout, and Aisha Alexander-Young, Senior Director for Strategy & Equity, discusses her role at the foundation and how it is driven by a commitment to anti-racism. (Medium, 4/16)

HOUSING
Conflict brewing over HQ2-tied affordable housing money (WBJ, 4/17)

– Notwithstanding the housing crunch, there is a construction freeze in Montgomery County near four schools in an attempt to control class size. (WAMU, 4/16)

Did Silver Spring build enough housing to stay affordable? Sort of. (GGWash, 4/17)

HEALTH/INEQUALITY | What Would a Post-ACA America Look Like? (Truthout, 4/11)

SOCIAL IMPACT | Reimagining the Economy: The Social Justice Enterprise (NPQ, 4/15)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Senior Manager of Member Engagement and Partnerships | United Philanthropy Forum – New!
Director of Institutional Writing and Strategy​ | ​League of Conservation Voters Education Fund
Director of Development​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Director of Operations​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation
Development Director​ | ​Greater DC Diaper Bank
Grants Manager, Data and Reporting​ | ​The Colorado Health Organization
Director, Flamboyan Arts Fund​ | ​Flamboyan Foundation
Membership Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Development Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Communications Director​ |​ Council on Foundations
Learning Engagement Manager​ | ​ Council on Foundations
Racial Justice Program Officer​ | ​Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Program Officer​ | ​The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
President and CEO | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Senior Program Officer | Potomac Health Foundation
Program Manager | DC127
Development Manager  | DC127
Corporate Responsibility- Mid-Atlantic Region, Vice President | JPMorgan Chase
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.


Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.


Did you see the large meteor that exploded in the sky earlier this week?

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday next week!

– Buffy

Montgomery County sees significant increase in the number of uninsured children seeking health care

HEALTH | According to the Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services, for the first time there is a significant increase in the number of uninsured children seeking health care in the county. The increase may be linked to an increasing number of immigrant children released from detention centers earlier this year. (WAMU, 4/16)

While new immigrant children are seeking more health care services, the broader relationship between immigrants and social services in Montgomery County is more complicated … the fear of deportation is limiting the uptake of certain benefits and services. Even with the uptake in requests for services … “there is now clear evidence of families who are reluctant to access those services for fear that it will impact their applications for long-term status here in the country,” said County Council member Gabe Albornoz. According to the Pew Research Center, 425,000 unauthorized migrants lived in the Washington Metropolitan Area in 2016.

CENSUS 2020 | Last week, the United Philanthropy Forum joined a number of foundations and other philanthropy-serving organizations in signing an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court. The brief discussed the ways in which philanthropy relies on census data and made the case to uphold the lower courts’ rulings to set aside the citizenship question from the 2020 Census. (Forum, 4/4)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS
Despite Housing Crunch, Montgomery County Expected To Freeze New Development (WAMU, 4/16)

– The recently opened Downtown Day Services Center offers many services, including a clean shower and laundry, to those experiencing homelessness. (WaPo, 4/15)

EMANCIPATION DAY | As DC commemorated Emancipation Day yesterday, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute recognizes the District’s important position as the first place where enslaved Black people were freed by federal action, and highlights the long history of institutional policies that maintained racial inequities, with impacts that continue to this day. (DCFPI, 4/16)

ARTS/CULTURE | Cities across the country, including DC, are drafting documents to help protect their cultural resources from economic changes — but do they really help cities save their art and music scenes?  (CityLab, 4/10)

DISTRICT
Tragedy At Notre Dame Might Accelerate Fire Safety Work Underway At National Cathedral (dcist, 4/15)

– Capital Bikeshare is removing electric bikes from its fleet after receiving  complaints that the front wheels aren’t working well. (WaPo, 4/14)

PHILANTHROPY As We Wait for Attorney General Barr to Release the Mueller Report, What Foundations Should Do (Chronicle, 4/11 – Subscription)


City Paper has a Peeps diorama contest – vote for your favorite!

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Thursday!

– Buffy

Thousands of families in the District could be moved out of public housing for urgent repairs

HOUSING | Years of neglect in the District has led to a crisis in public housing and the DC Housing Authority has asked local government to step in and help the agency pay for repairs. In testimony before the DC Council last week, Housing Authority director Tyrone Garrett said thousands of families in the District could be moved out of public housing to allow for urgent repairs to be made. (WAMU, 4/12)

The agency said 2,610 of its “extremely urgent” units need attention before the end of this year and an additional 4,445 units of its approximately 8,000-unit portfolio are in “critical condition,” – which means the vast majority of DC’s public housing is in serious disrepair. Garrett said the Housing Authority would need $2.2 billion over the next 17 years to get all of DC’s public housing back in good shape — and $343 million is required in the next fiscal year just to address lead and environmental hazards in the city’s most unsafe units.

EDUCATION
– In honor of 15 years, PNC Financial Services Group has made an additional $150 million pledge to PNC Grow Up Great, its program to expand access to high-quality early learning for young children in 40 communities.

– They believe more students should attend neighborhood schools. But what happens when it’s their child? (WaPo, 4/13)

ARTS/CULTURE | In the New Haven, CT, neighborhood of Dixwell, a once-thriving historic African-American neighborhood, Titus Kaphar – last year’s WRAG Annual Meeting keynote speaker – found a home for himself, and he’s creating a center there to nurture emerging artists. (NYT, 4/12)

GUN VIOLENCE | What Are Maryland Schools Doing To Prevent Gun Violence? (Kojo Nnamdi Show, 4/15)

RACIAL JUSTICE 
– Nikki Highsmith Vernick, President and CEO of the Horizon Foundation, writes in a Letter to the Editor that philanthropists should tackle racial justice. (Baltimore Sun, 4/11)

– A new documentary, Segregated By Design, examines the forgotten history of how our federal, state and local governments unconstitutionally segregated every major metropolitan area in America through law and policy. The film is based on The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein (another past WRAG annual meeting speaker).

How Parole Perpetuates a Cycle of Incarceration and Instability (Truthout, 4/7)


Never give up – it’s all about the come back. Congrats, Tiger.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Wednesday and Thursday!

– Buffy

New committee to address disproportionate maternal mortality among African-American women in DC

HEALTH/RACE
– Joining nearly 30 other jurisdictions, including Maryland and Virginia, a new Maternal Mortality Review Committee has been created to address the disproportionate death rates of African-American women in the District. The committee is made up of various maternal health experts and was formed after several years of calls to study the deaths of pregnant women and new mothers in DC. (WAMU, 4/12)

With rates double that of the nation’s, Washington is home to a decades-long maternal mortality crisis. Nearly 75 percent of District mothers who died of complications from pregnancy, labor and childbirth between 2014 and 2016 were African American. Nationally, black women are three to four times more likely to die than white women. According to the CDC, nationally, from 2011 to 2013, black women experienced roughly 43.5 deaths per 100,000 live births on average, compared to 12.7 deaths for white mothers. One reason for the disparity, says Ebony Marcelle, Director of midwifery at Community of Hope’s Family Health and Birth Center, is that the health risks associated with childbirth are coupled with racial bias in the medical field. Black women, she says, are often dismissed or ignored by health care providers.

COMMUNITY | Crystal Carr Townsend, President of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, WRAG Board Member, and member of WRAG’s Healthy Communities Working Group, is profiled in Bethesda Magazine. The piece highlights HIF’s work in Germantown to build a collaborative approach to ensuring that low-income families have critical health and wellness services. (Bethesda Magazine, 4/8)

EQUITY | Banks in DC are increasingly concentrated in affluent neighborhoods, while other areas that could benefit from more banking options are still underserved by financial institutions. (WAMU, 4/10)

HOUSING 
– A new bill in the DC Council would require the creation of more affordable housing when quasi-governmental agencies sell or redevelop their own properties. (WBJ, 4/10)

RACE/EDUCATION | Georgetown Students Vote On Proposal To Make Amends For University’s Slaveholding Past (WAMU, 4/11)

EDUCATION/SAFETY | Pre-K and elementary students are learning safety skills on their new kid-sized roadway at Thomas Elementary School in Northeast DC. (WAMU, 4/1)

PHILANTHROPY
– How and why funders can invest more in the pro-immigrant movement. (NCRP, 4/11)

–  This Is What A Philanthropist Looks Like (Refinery29, 4/9)


Social Sector Job Openings 

Director of Institutional Writing and Strategy​ | ​League of Conservation Voters Education Fund – New!
Director of Development​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation – New!
Director of Operations​ | ​Washington Tennis & Education Foundation – New!
Development Director​ | ​Greater DC Diaper Bank
Program & Marketing Coordinator​ | ​ACT for Alexandria
Grants Manager, Data and Reporting​ | ​The Colorado Health Organization
Director, Flamboyan Arts Fund​ | ​Flamboyan Foundation
Membership Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Development Director​ | ​Council on Foundations
Communications Director​ |​ Council on Foundations
Learning Engagement Manager​ | ​ Council on Foundations
Racial Justice Program Officer​ | ​Wellspring Philanthropic Fund
Program Officer​ | ​The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Program Coordinator | TGR Foundation – A Tiger Woods Charity
Individual Giving Manager | Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
President and CEO | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Grants Program Specialist | Jack and Jill Foundation
Director of Development Partnerships – New England | League of Conservation Voters
Senior Program Officer | Potomac Health Foundation
Program Manager | DC127
Development Manager  | DC127
Corporate Responsibility- Mid-Atlantic Region, Vice President | JPMorgan Chase
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.


Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.


Spring has sprung, and our region has over 100 public gardens to prove it.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday next week!

– Buffy