Hundreds Rally in DC for Affordable Housing

Advocates are calling for more than $100 million to be put in a trust fund to help the homeless secure affordable housing

Hundreds of people, including advocacy groups, housing organizations and D.C. residents, gathered on Saturday to call for more affordable housing in the District.

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development organized the event held at Foundry United Methodist Church in Northwest.

"The rally is about getting our city leaders to sustain investments in affordable housing and to fully invest in the strategies to end homelessness in the District of Columbia," said Steve Glaude, executive director of CNHED.

D.C. resident Lashell Rivers told News4's Derrick Ward she has been on the waiting list for affordable housing for 15 years.

"I think more focus needs to be placed on housing because a lot of housing is being torn down at the same time so new things can go up," Rivers said.

The group says it wants Mayor Muriel Bowser to insure that more than $100 million is put in the Housing Production Trust Fund to help homeless people secure affordable housing.

Bowser attended the rally and told Ward the money is in the budget and the city committed the same amount to affordable housing in 2015.

"We now have to make sure that we're doing all that we can where the government can make a difference," Bowser said. "There's no mayor, there's no government that can tell you they can reverse housing prices. But what we can do, is make sure that the city is involved in supporting subsidized units and preserving housing and ending homelessness. And that's what our focus is."

Advocates also say strengthening rent control and expanding rent supplement programs is critical in reducing homelessness across D.C.

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