Manna continues to be invested in seeking affordable housing justice and econoimc opportunity for the community of people who currently live in Wards 7 & 8-commonly referred to as “East of the River”. After 150 people showed up for the East of the River Homeownership Fair hosted by Manna this spring, it was clear homeownership is priority. Manna has wondered what our readers know about the rich history of Wards 7 & 8 and the strengths of a community so often highlighted only when negative things happen. So please take a minute, grab a coffee or a cool glass of water, and consider the following questions: “Have you ever…..”
….heard about the rich history of the Deanwood community in Ward 7?
…known Barry Farms was the first place in DC that African American families could own homes?
All Souls Unitarian Church hosted the 6th Annual Tenant Townhall on Saturday, May 18th. Over 250 tenant advocates showed strength in number by gathering to make their voices heard expressing housing concerns to local government officials. Latin Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) intentionally planned this event with the support of the Coalition of Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED).
Main concerns verbalized by DC tenants were the following:
supporting dollars for tenants to become homeowners
spreading the word about the Tenant’s Right to Purchase (TOPA) program.
Marilyn Philips, currently a tenant in Ward 8, was asked to speak in support of the Housing Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) and about her journey towards homeownership.
Following her speech, the group heard affirmation for tenant concerns from Councilmember Jim Graham, Director Michael Kelly (DHCD) and Director Adrianne Todman (DCHA).
Throughout the entire event, the predominate theme was “DC Tenants, You Rock!” Tenants were truly celebrated for their accomplishments, rights and diversity. Interpretation was provided in Spanish, Amharic and Mandarin. This was a powerful demonstration of the tenants’ power, persistance, and collective voice across the Continuum of Housing!