By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,
A D.C.-based non-profit organization unveiled 40 affordable new additions to the city’s housing stock on Dec. 13, fulfilling part of a vow to add 700 to 1,000 housing units aimed at alleviating the area’s affordable housing disparity.
The organization, So Others Might Eat (SOME), opened the new housing units at 4111 Kansas Ave., N.W. SOME currently provides affordable housing to over 1,500 D.C. residents.
The effort is part of D.C. Mayor Bowser’s initiative to create 36,000 affordable housing units by 2025.
“Though our target population are those experiencing extreme low income, when the people are in need we are prepared to answer the call,” said Ralph Boyd, president and CEO of SOME. “We provide comprehensive wrap around services like job training, medical and dental support, financial literacy, behaviroral health support and food.”
According to information released by SOME, the Kansas Avenue property offers family and single adult housing units for households earning nor more or less than $49,800 – $79,700 for single households and $71, 150 – $113,850 for a four person household. Household earnings threshold is based on the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area Median Family Income (MFI), previousley known as the Area Median Income (AMI).
“We don’t just provide housing opportunities. We provide holistic services for individuals, families, senior citizens, veterans, and those with physical or mental illness,” said Boyd.
This building is also a part of Amazon’s $2 billion Housing Equity Fund, working to combat affordable housing challenges.
African-American residents in the nation’s capital experience racial disparities in life expectancy, income, unemployment, and poverty, according to findings by Brookings Institute, a non-profit public policy organization.
Black life expectancy, which can be impacted by the stressors of housing insecurity, is the lowest among all races at an average of 72.7 years, compared to 88 years for White people and 88.3 years for Latinx persons.
“In 2019, Washington, D.C. was still one of the top 10 cities with the highest number of people experiencing homelessness,” said Belinda Johnson, senior vice president and chief program officer of Single Adult Housing for SOME. “The goal of our Single Adult Housing program is to help residents find a way to live better lives by providing them with the tools and resources they need to thrive. We hope that SOME’s housing program will permanently free residents from homelessness.”
Johnson continues, “Over the years, I’ve watched SOME progress from offering single-room occupancy units to offering residents one-bedroom apartments and family housing. Our housing facilities provide a safe and healthy environment that allows residents to find stability, improved personal outcomes and better health.”
President Biden recently held a White House meeting in which a group of 10 state legislators, including Maryland’s state senators Toni Atkins (D-CA-39) and Nikil Saval (D-PA-01), discussed the administration’s Housing Supply Action Plan. Finding ways of lowering housing costs for working families was a key element of the gathering.
They also discussed regulations to augment construction of mixed-income houses, extend the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and promote housing options near transportation.
D.C. residents interested in applying for housing through SOME should visit www.some.org/housing. For those interested in learning more about SOME’S other services and programs, visit www.some.org/get-help.
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