The District’s housing-affordability crisis needs a better solution

WASHINGTON, DC - September 19: Mayor Muriel Bowser, center, reaches to shake hands with Rep. Jim Jordan(R-OH), right, after the House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing about statehood for Washington, in Washington, DC. (Bill OLeary/The Washington Post)
November 29, 2019 at 4:05 p.m. EST

Regarding the Nov. 22 Metro article “Bowser approval at 67% in poll”:

The Post conducted a poll that identified housing affordability as a top concern. A new public opinion survey by the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington (AOBA) took a closer look at the issue when it asked 428 D.C. residents to identify the drivers of the affordability problem. An overwhelming majority (more than 80 percent) pointed to the high cost of land and stagnant wages as the top two culprits, with the influx of new people coming in third.

The AOBA poll found that residents do not view the problem as intractable but rather as one requiring a comprehensive solution. They agree on the top three actions local government can take to resolve the problem: providing government-funded rental assistance to more people, working with the private sector to build housing on government-owned land with a streamlined approval process, and cutting property taxes to offset the costs of updating and preserving existing rental housing.

Solving our region’s housing-affordability challenge will take a comprehensive approach that involves the public, nonprofit and private sectors working together.

Peggy Jeffers, Washington

The writer is executive vice president of the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington.