How to Prevent Displacement

David Gaines / Flickr

Building more housing is one solution to preventing displacement, D.C.

D.C. is a city with 700,000 jobs and about 600,000 residents. Yet, there is an imbalance; nearly two-third of District jobs are held by non-District residents, D.C.’s Director of Planning Harriet Tregoning said on Monday’s The Kojo Nnamdi Show.

In an effort to rectify that imbalance and also shorten workers’ commutes, the District launched the Live Near Your Work pilot program. District and non-District residents are eligible to receive grants to buy homes close to their places of work.

Encouraging people to move into the District could stoke fears over the displacement of low-income residents; as the demand to live in D.C. neighborhoods increases, so do housing prices. Tregoning told DCentric the way to prevent displacement is to create more housing.

“In general, the way we think about housing is ‘supply and demand.’ So the more housing that there is, the cheaper it’s going to be, all other things being equal,” she said. “Providing much more housing has got to be part of the solution to making sure we have affordability, not not building the housing so as to keep things exactly the way they are.”

Part of building more housing, she added, is ensuring there are reserved affordable units. The city has an inclusionary zoning law requiring new, large residential developments to set aside 8 percent or more units as affordable.

You can listen to the entire The Kojo Nnamdi Show segment here.

  • Kjkj

    I like Harriet. But her formulation (there IS much more housing) is not working out. It’s less affordable than it has ever been in over 20 years. Explain that.