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D.C. Receives National Housing Policy Award From ULI

Polly Donaldson DCHD
D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development Director Polly Donaldson at Bisnow's 2017 affordable housing event

D.C. has invested heavily in initiatives to create and preserve affordable housing, and those efforts have just received national recognition.

The Urban Land Institute selected D.C.'s Department of Housing and Community Development as the winner of the Robert C. Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award. DCHD Director Polly Donaldson accepted the award Monday at the ULI Terwilliger Center's Housing Opportunity Conference in New Orleans. 

The award, given by a jury of national housing industry leaders, recognizes innovative strategies local governments are using to produce and preserve affordable housing. New York City, Boston and Denver were the other three finalists. 

The panel praised D.C.'s Housing Production Trust Fund, the housing financing tool in which Mayor Muriel Bowser has committed to invest $100M annually. It also recognized its Housing Preservation Strike Force, an 18-member team that focuses on maintaining existing affordable housing. 

ULI noted that D.C. has produced or preserved more than 4,000 affordable units since January 2015, with another 5,300 in the pipeline. Still, some developers have called on the District to do more, and a recent poll found that a majority of D.C. residents are not satisfied with the job Bowser is doing on affordable housing.