Ward 8 has the lowest home ownership levels in the city, by far, and Councilman Marion Barry has a solution: Stop building rental property. Barry has proposed a bill that would prohibit construction permits for new apartment buildings within his ward.
In a press release this afternoon, Barry bemoaned the "few opportunities for residents to become homeowners," noting that only 24% of ward 8 residents live in their own home. Barry notes that families in Ward 8 are "driven by a philosophy to just survive, rather than to invest in their future. " By stopping the illicit flow of the "over saturation" of new apartment units into the ward, Barry reasons that families will be better able to purchase homes.
The legislation submitted by Barry does not directly address the connection between the supply of rental housing and the affordability of home ownership, but states the over-construction of new housing "has lead to few opportunities for residents to become homeowners." Taking away rental options, according to the press release, will force renters to purchase. "Renters are paying anywhere from $1,500-$1,800 per month for housing. At the end of twenty years, what do they have to show for it, nothing, not a cent of equity value," said Barry.
Washington D.C. real estate development news