Righting Past Wrongs: Black Homeownership

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Muriel Bowser Ward 4




John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004


Phone: (202) 727-2643
Email: muriel.bowser@dc.gov

Chief of Staff:
John Falcicchio

City Administrator:
Kevin Donahue

Director of the Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel:
Eugene Adams

Senior Advisor:
Beverly Perry

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Affairs:
Jackie Reyes-Yanes

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services:
Julia Irving

Scheduling Requests:




















June 17, 2022

Letter from the Mayor

Dear Washingtonians,

I've told you before my story of homeownership and how buying a home in my late twenties, with the support of a home buying program, changed my life. Buying a home allowed me to think boldly about my own life and it has allowed me to think boldly about my daughter's future.

Putting homeownership in reach for more Washingtonians is important to me. As is addressing the very real anxieties that many residents are feeling around affordability. Part of this work means addressing the long-standing discriminatory practices that kept Black people in DC from having access to every neighborhood and every tool that would have allowed them to buy homes in our city generations ago—and then pass those homes and that wealth on to their own children.

We know that because of those discriminatory policies and practices, Black Washingtonians who are trying to buy a home today are often starting a few steps behind their neighbors. And that's why this year, I proposed a $40 million package of legacy initiatives—programs and services that focus on how we make up for those past wrongs, including a $10 million Black Homeownership Fund. Last week, I launched a Black Homeownership Strike Force to help us set bold goals and to provide innovative and intentional recommendations for increasing Black homeownership in DC. 

In addition to helping more people buy homes in DC, we also want to support current homeowners in keeping and maintaining the homes they've worked so hard to buy. Which is why this week, we launched a new $50 million Homeowner Assistance Fund to provide financial assistance to residents struggling to make housing related payments. Beginning on June 22, eligible homeowners can go to haf.dc.gov to apply for grant funding to cover mortgage payments and other property or housing expenses, including utilities, insurance, internet, and housing association fees. If you know someone who can benefit from this program, please help us spread the word. 

Together, we can and will continue to build a more equitable and inclusive Washington, DC. 


Muriel Bowser

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In This Week's Newsletter:

Saturday: Chinatown Community Festival

Chinatown Community Festival

The Mayor's Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA) invites community members to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) culture at DC's annual Chinatown Community Festival on Saturday, June 18 at Chinatown Park.

The festival will include cultural performances, family-friendly activities, information and resource booths from DC Government agencies, and more!

Learn more HERE

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Food Access Fund: Third Round of Grants Opening on Monday, June 27

Food Access Fund Announcement

This week, the Mayor announced that the third round of the Food Access Fund will open for applications on Monday, June 27, making up to $7.3 million in grant funding available. The Food Access Fund is a grant program to increase equitable access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food by securing grocery stores and restaurants, fast-casual restaurants, and other food access points in areas with low food access, with a focus on Wards 7 and 8.

To date, the Food Access Fund has awarded 16 food-related businesses more than $12.7 million in grant funding for projects located in Wards 7 and 8, and, with the Council's approval of the FY23 budget, the Food Access Fund stands at $73 million for Fiscal Years 2021-2024. 

Food Access Fund awardees for the second round of grants included:

  1. Miss Toya's Southern Cajun Kitchen will be opening in Ward 7’s Penn Branch neighborhood.  
  2. Duffy’s Irish Pub plans to deliver a full-service restaurant in Ward 7’s Stadium Armory neighborhood.
  3. Tropical Smoothie Café is set to open a new store in Ward 7 as part of the Skyland Development.
  4. Atlas Brew Works will open a new restaurant in Ward 8’s Bridge District. 
  5. La Cabana Restaurante will be a full dine-in restaurant and bar also located in Ward 7’s Skyland neighborhood.
  6. Sandlot Anacostia will open in Ward 8’s Bridge District. 
  7. Cheers from Ivy City will be located in Ward 8’s Historic Anacostia neighborhood. It will also include a culinary incubator for training and job readiness programs. 
  8. Smokehouse at the Strand will be located in Ward 7’s Deanwood neighborhood, and is set to revive the historic Strand Theatre that has been vacant for twenty years.

Learn more about the Food Access Fund at obviouslyDC.com.

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New Hiring Bonus for MPD Officers

MPD Hiring Bonus

Today, Mayor Bowser and Chief Contee announced a new $20,000 hiring bonus that will make the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) more competitive and help the department recruit new officers, with a focus on hiring more DC residents and women. The new incentive is part of Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget, which funds an additional 347 new officers in FY23 and goes into effect on October 1, 2022. The Administration expedited the program to allow MPD to immediately begin recruitment efforts. 

Qualified applicants will be eligible to receive this incentive in addition to existing benefits, such as the $6,000 housing stipend. The bonus will be paid in two installments: $10,000 will be paid as an initial hiring bonus and the remainder will be paid upon successful completion of the police academy.

Mayor Bowser has made it a priority to fully fund MPD so that the department has the resources necessary to patrol neighborhoods, lower response times, make and solve cases, and stay prepared for a post-January 6th posture.

To apply for a position at MPD or for more information on qualifications, recruitment efforts, and the Cadet Corps Program, visit joinmpd.dc.gov

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