Code of the District of Columbia

§ 6–1061.01. Findings.

(a) The District of Columbia faces a severe shortage of affordable housing. Recent increases in housing prices have far outpaced the growth in wages and salaries of many workers. District government employees have not been immune from these pressures. Only 37% of the District government workforce earning more than $40,000 resides in the District.

(b) The Washington region’s growth in housing prices has outpaced most other metropolitan areas in the country. It ranks 2nd in house price increases for the 3-year period between 2002 and 2005. In July 2005, the District of Columbia had the highest average sales price in the region at about $543,700, which was higher than the richer surrounding jurisdictions of northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.

(c) The Mayor and the Council established the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force in 2003 to help the city respond to the critical housing problems created by the housing boom.

(d) The Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force report of 2006 recommended a specific tool for solving the growing workforce housing problem. The report recommended the formation of one or more community land trusts run by public, nonprofit, or other community-based entities whose mission would be to acquire land and hold it long-term while providing long-term leases to developers of housing for both rental and for-sale units. This approach advances the important objective of creating ‘permanent affordability” or guaranteeing that units remain affordable indefinitely.

(e) The Deed Transfer and Recordation Emergency Amendment Act of 2006, effective August 8, 2006 (D.C. Act 16-477; 53 DCR 7068) (“emergency act”) [see now D.C. Law 16-192, § 2052; D.C. Code § 42-2855.01] established the Mayor’s Comprehensive Housing Task Force Fund. For fiscal year 2007 only, an amount of $5 million was allocated for the production of workforce housing; provided, that eligibility for purchase or rental of workforce housing shall be limited to households with incomes not exceeding 120% of the area median income as defined in § 42-2801(1) (“AMI”); and, provided further, that all housing units developed with funds from the Fund shall be leased or sold on to eligible households for the life of the unit. The emergency act required the Mayor to submit to the Council, for review, a workforce housing development plan.

(f) The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (“ODMPED”) initiated work on the development plan beginning in July 2006.

(g) The District of Columbia Workforce Housing Land Trust Design and Implementation Plan (“Plan”) is the product of a collaborative effort between the District government, private lenders, nonprofit housing advocates, and for-profit and nonprofit developers. The Plan was submitted by the Mayor to the Council for approval as required by the emergency act [§ 42-2855.01(b)(1)(C)].

(h) The Plan recommends the formation of a nonprofit community land trust that will provide high leverage for subsidy dollars and create permanent affordability in 10,000 housing units in Washington, D.C., beginning with a 1,000-unit pilot program financed in part with New Markets Tax Credits.

(i) The land trust is designed to maximize unit production; leverage public and private resources; provide permanent affordability; ensure flexibility and portability; promote wealth building; and ensure efficient administration.

(j) Once approved, the Plan will efficiently support the New Communities and Great Streets Initiatives as well as instrumentalities such as the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation in achieving affordable housing development objectives.