As I wrote earlier this week, four developers have submitted proposals for the “Hill East Waterfront,” a 50-acre area by RFK stadium. Given our challenging economic times, some people are wondering where local government’s priorities will lie—-with affordable housing commitments or green design?
The cost crunch had affordable housing advocates worried that Mayor Adrian Fenty would back off on his promise to offer 30 percent of the new housing units below market rate. But then the mayor told the Washington Interfaith Network, a below market housing builder, at an Oct. 23 meeting that he would fully back that commitment.
That disappointed Tommy Wells, D-Ward 6, who said he had hoped some savings might be had by subsidizing fewer than 30 percent of the housing units. Wells, an ardent backer of sustainable development, is worried the plans to green the waterfront are at risk.
“I’m greatly concerned about the commitment the mayor has made about the affordable housing mix at Hill East waterfront,” Wells says. Wells said he doesn¹t think Hill East calls for extremely dense development, another way to float the affordable units, and does not want to see the bold ideas for sustainability taken out. “That’s a priority for me.”