the devil’s town: the rent is too damn high

jimmy mcmillan

Is DC the next New York City? We’ll know when Jimmy McMillan (pictured above) moves his Rent is Too Damn High Party to Capitol Hill.

The DCist, NPR station WAMU report that the District has had the largest average increases for one- and two-bedroom apartments in the nation since 2009. These rent hikes come at a time when many residential areas are dropping their rent controls, sending formerly affordable housing through the roof.

Who is to blame for this? (Hint: it’s a DC buzzword) Young professionals! More and more young people, fresh out of college, have chosen to make DC Boomtown their place of residence. Whether a perpetual intern from the bank of Mom and Dad or a lucky young’n who snagged one of the coveted paying positions in town, twenty-somethings have taken over much of DC’s prime and gentrifying real estate.

Many DC residents are not pleased. Last Friday (April 12), about 30 residents took to the streets in front of the DC Housing Authority, demanding more funds for affordable housing. This comes at a time when DC has officially closed its list for affordable housing applications at more than 70,000. DC Mayor Vincent Gray pledged over a year ago to allocate more than $100 million for more affordable housing. Since that time, the DCHA has seen more than $1 million cut from its budget.

With almost no help on the way from a cash-strapped government, WAMU points out that these new rent hikes put those working low-wage jobs just a couple of months of unemployment or a debilitating injury away from homelessness.

How should we react to this news? Craigslist tells us that a 1 bedroom apartment on 14th Street is worth $3425 per month! I think Jimmy McMillan would know what to say.


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