Making Justice Real

The Official Blog of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

New campaign urges public to “ReThink” public housing

Julie Becker, Supervising Attorney

Julie Becker, Supervising Attorney

According to a recent survey, 83 percent of Americans believe that every U.S. citizen deserves a decent and safe place to live.  But at the same time, a majority of those surveyed said they would not want to live close to a public housing property, and do not support having public housing in their own neighborhoods.

A new public relations initiative, ReThink , seeks to change those attitudes.  With video, music, and stories from public housing residents around the country, ReThink demonstrates how public housing in America “supports families, builds communities, fosters education, and provides stability.”

In the District of Columbia, public housing provides a critical resource for the city’s lowest-income residents.  The D.C. Housing Authority operates more than 8,300 public housing units, providing affordable homes for families, seniors, and persons with disabilities.  The waiting list for these units and DCHA’s other housing programs topped out at 70,000 applicants when it closed in April.

Across the country, there are at least half a million people waiting for a public housing unit.  The ReThink initiative helps show why support for public housing is crucial to providing hope, tackling poverty, and moving toward opportunity for so many low-income people in the U.S.

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