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Here’s D.C. housing crisis in a few statistics from last year: The average rent for a market-rate one-bedroom reached almost $2,000 per month; 49.7 percent of renters spent more than a third of their incomes on housing; and our city leads the nation in displacement of low-income residents. 

D.C.’s housing issues are top-of-mind for residents and lawmakers alike. Indeed, over 120 residents testified before the Council’s committee on housing yesterday, pleading for more affordable homes and stronger tenant protections. “Every year, prices go up, but my wages are stagnant, so I’ve also been forced to move and make way for richer residents who can guarantee my landlord a bigger profit,” says one organizer with Stomp Out Slumlords. 

Currently, Mayor MurielBowser’s administration and the Council are trying to mitigate D.C.’s affordability crisis before D.C. becomes San Francisco. It’s a complicated problem that City Paper’s Rachel Cohen breaks down in today’s cover story available in print and online.  

“City leaders say they grasp the stakes, are ready to act, and are committed to expanding affordable housing throughout the District,” writes Cohen. “But some of the poorest residents, and those who have lived in the city for decades, are skeptical that the government’s money will ultimately be spent for their benefit instead of getting lost in the dense network of developers, consultants, and public agencies overseeing housing in D.C.” 

With District leaders trying to create 36,000 new housing units by 2025, including 12,000 “affordable” units, understanding the politics of it all—like building and zoning—is critical. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com


  • D.C. slumlord Sanford Capital to pay $1.1 million to tenants. [WCP]

  • ICYMI: Transit Police receive little-to-no public oversight despite questionable interactions with people of color. [WCP]

  • Rent-control law that’s set to expire at the end of 2020 gets a hearing. [WAMU

  • Need financial help to replace lead pipes? D.C. has you covered. [Curbed]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Alleged contracting malfeasance halts work on a $13 million contract to modernize D.C.’s unemployment insurance system. [WCP]

  • Transcripts of Councilmember Jack Evans’ interviews with law firm investigators are posted online. [DC Council]

  • Protesters gathered outside the White House while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited with President Trump. [Post]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Why fine dining chefs put burgers on their menus. [WCP]

  • Three D.C. spots named onEsquire’s best new restaurants list. [Esquire]

  • Where to dine out with a baby.  [Washingtonian]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • ArtReach GW is making a difference in kids’ lives. [WCP]

  • Attention fellow winter lovers: Here are eight ice skating rinks around D.C. [DCist]

  • A new memorial dedicated to suffragists breaks ground in Virginia. [WAMU

  • Local artist Trap Bob’s work can now be seen on Pabst Blue Ribbon cans. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Wizards are a young team and it shows. The players’ inexperience can account for at least some of the team’s early struggles. “I think when you coach a younger group or a group that hasn’t had a lot of NBA experience, you have to slow it down a little bit,” says coach Scott Brooks, “be patient and let them play through the mistakes instead of reacting with every mistake.” [WCP]

  • Bradley Bealscored 44 points and Isaiah Thomas added 18 in his first return to Boston as an NBA starter, but the league-leading Celtics beat the Wizards, 140-133, to drop Washington to 2-7 this season. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • The DMV Diamonds Women’s Flag Football team is preparing for its return after a six-year hiatus. [WCP]

  • The Houston Astros have come under fire after a report by The Athletic alleged that the team stole signs electronically in 2017—the year Houston won the World Series. (The videos online are rather alarming.) The Nationals, apparently, were ready to counter any possibility of that by mixing their signs “more elaborately,” Barry Svrluga writes in a fascinating column after speaking to Nats pitching coach Paul Menhart. [Post]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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