WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — A scathing report about DC Housing Authority has been released by US Housing and Urban Development with over 50 citations about a whole slew of issues within the Board of Commissioners, including lack of policies, among others.
The report also highlights poor management of buildings, not serving enough low-income families, and never-ending waitlists to even get housing. DC News Now spoke to people living in some of the apartment complexes cited in the report who say they are tired of this.
“It’s just a mess. No human being should be living here,” Andre Nettles, a resident of Potomac Gardens Apartments, said.
The 72-page report by US Housing and Development details a range of issues. The report reveals administrative failures like an extensive waitlist, not having a policy or selection method for the waitlist or running criminal background checks, and misuse of funds to failing to address crime or provide “decent, safe, and sanitary housing.”
Andre nettles, Potomac gardens resident: “all they do is just constantly put band-aids on stuff. This whole place needs to be torn down, gutted out with a big old hoe to put concrete on top of it and what they do with any other project when they build something new, they kill off all the rats and cockroaches and bugs. That’s what needs to happen to this place.”
DC news now’s Katie Rhee spoke to someone who is in the process of moving out of Potomac gardens. That apartment was just cited in the report for terrible living conditions. She showed me around her apartment and said she was thankful to be getting out.
Voice of g. Johnson, a former resident of Potomac gardens: “the inside of the house as much as you try to keep it up no matter what you do, it still falls apart. The government has more than enough money to hire the proper people to do the job and get the job done right but they won’t even put the money into proper living for the residents.”
DC attorney general Karl Racine has fought for accessible housing and took to Twitter calling for the DC council to turn oversight to a more qualified person:
“now is the time to overhaul DCHA’s leadership, including its executive director, board chair & some board members. It’s also past time for oversight. Chairman Phil Mendelson should immediately turn over oversight to a councilmember well equipped to do the work to protect dc residents.”
Dc housing authority tells dc news now in a statement that they acknowledge the report and the problems which are the result of “years of management neglect across different departments within the agency.”
“DCHA continues to be in the midst of this complex transformation and is up to the challenge as evidenced by our actions on previously self-identified issues outlined in the report. We plan to fully demonstrate our management responsibilities and ability to implement so we can fulfill our commitments to the people we serve.”
The agency has 60 days to respond to hud with a corrective action plan and six months to implement it.