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The Growing Movement For Socialized Housing Could Win A Big Victory In D.C. | Bisnow

December 22, 2022
  • D.C. Policy Center

On December 21, 2022, D.C. Policy Center Executive Director Dr. Yesim Sayin, was quoted by Bisnow:

Yesim Sayin, executive director of the D.C. Policy Center and one of the only witnesses to speak against the Green New Deal For Housing during its 11-hour public hearing on Nov. 22, said she doesn’t believe there are enough market-rate renters willing to pay the rent needed to cross-subsidize the social housing developments’ cheapest units.

“Romanticism is not dead,” Sayin said. “This is largely driven by ideology.”

In her testimony, Sayin said that households that could afford the market-rate rent needed for cross-subsidization in the proposed social housing developments would be earning 137% of median family income. Such renters make up 6% of the overall tenant pool, and Sayin worries those earners may be more interested in luxury buildings or homeownership instead.

That makes cross-subsidization unlikely, Sayin said. What’s more, provisions that require net-zero emissions in newly constructed social housing, solar energy, all-electric appliances and more run up the tab for such developments, potentially putting positive cash flow out of reach for the proposed agency.

“They take a difficult problem and make it even more difficult,” Sayin said. “This bill … starts with a financially impossible proposition and then it makes it even costlier.”

Read more: The Growing Movement For Socialized Housing Could Win A Big Victory In D.C. | Bisnow

Related: D.C. Council Testimony on the Green New Deal for Housing Amendment Act of 2022 | D.C. Policy Center


D.C. Policy Center

Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center is a non-partisan research and policy organization committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. Through rigorous research and collaboration, the D.C. Policy Center develops and tests policy ideas, disseminates its findings, and engages in constructive dialogue and debate.

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