DC Zoning approval to "redevelop" Brookland Manor granted as residents protest displacement

On the 22nd of May, the DC Zoning Commission approved the "second stage PUD" to allow redeveloping Brookland Manor without any of the current larger family units and a reduction of over 100 units of affordable housing. This is to make way for over 1,000 small luxury units. Residents protested both outside and inside the hearing, some vowing to camp on or in DC officials and Mid City's own buildings if they lose their apartments.

There are just over 500 units in the current Brookland Manor complex. About 100 of them are 4 and 5 bedroom units occupied by larger familes. The planned redevelopment will not include anything larger than 3 bedrooms. Mid City Financial is advising these families to break up and rent several smaller apartments at much greater cost. Almost all of Brookland Manor is now occupied by lower income residents, the number of low income units is to be reduced by nearly 100-and add somewhere around 1,000 units of luxury housing, tripling density while excluding as many of the current tenants as possible.

Ward 5 councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Mayor Bowser, and the senior execs at Mid-City Financial have with this project placed themselves at risk for finding furious tenants inside their own homes. Direct promises of not only camping in front of but actually occupying their homes and offices were made at the protest before the zoning hearing started.

Some said this "redevelopment" was part of the explicitly racist agenda of gentrification, of moving people of color out of the city to make way for upscale white professionals. Seemingly every corporation on Earth that interacts with the US has sends lobbyists and lawyers to DC, few other explanations exist for the insane and seemingly unlimited number of rich buyers for tiny condos with granite countertops and fancy faucet fittings in DC.

Meanwhile its bedbugs and roaches for everyone else as developers use deliberate non-maintainance seek to force tenants to abandon affordable units as a legal way to dodge obligations to keep or replace them during redevelopment projects. Worse yet, at Brookland Manor, Mid City was reported by residents speaking at the protest to have sent in "security guards" whose sole function is to write "infraction tickets" for made up violations such as stepping outside one's own unit as a way to take residents to eviction court. Speakers even reported children there now run for cover at the site of "security" for fear their families will be evicted because they were playing outside. The conditions imposed by Mid-City Financial's security goons were bluntly compared to jail.

Speaking of jail, blunt vows of civil disobedience were spoken by two speakers, along with the promises (not threats...) to occupy the homes and offices of those responsible for throwing families out of their homes. The zoning commission may have decided to support the gentrifying thugs at Mid City, but the battle has barely begun.

"Hell No We Won't Go" -Street Sense article on Brookland Manor from March 16th 2017

Video-Brookland Manor tenants, allies vow to occupy city official's homes over just-approved "redevelopment"

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