Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie issued the following statement on the Rhode Island Avenue Tax Increment Financing Act of 2018, which is scheduled for a second and final on Tuesday, December 18, 2018.
“I support the Rhode Island Avenue (RIA) Tax Increment Financing Act of 2018 [B22-0986] because it brings needed economic investment to Rhode Island Avenue NE and Ward 5, the project has a high percentage of affordable housing units, and it protects current residents from displacement.
The RIA project includes about three times the number of affordable housing units when compared to other commensurate projects in D.C. (24% of units in this project are affordable, IZ requires 8-10%) and, importantly, many of these units are for extremely low-income renters making 0-30% of Area Median Income. Further, it prevents displacement of current residents by ensuring they will remain onsite through every stage of construction and it will feature a large number of 3- and 4-bedroom family-sized units. Finally, the developer has committed to using Certified Business Enterprises beyond the minimum requirement and has committed to a First Source plan that starts with the Brookland Manor and Brentwood communities.
My commitment is, and always has been, to do what is in the best interests of the residents of Brookland Manor and Brentwood. While there are some residents who oppose the project, I must weigh their concerns against the many residents who signed letters of support during the first zoning case and over 300 residents who have advocated for the start of construction on this project. This TIF is an important public investment that will serve current residents who live in the community as well as help to attract new individuals and families to Ward 5.”