While working in social services in Washington, I had clients with seven addresses in less than three years, while others had a new cell phone number every other month. The constant turnover in contact information is a reality that hinders the delivery of essential city services such as housing.
Beginning tomorrow the District of Columbia Housing Authority will undertake an ambitious 100-day campaign to update their waiting list by contacting more than 60,000 people currently on the list; DCHA suspended intake of new applications a year. The list stands at more than 72,000, 11,500 of which have been confirmed "active" over the past year. To reach the remaining members of the list, DCHA will send a series of four different emails along with traditional letters that will be sent to the addresses DCHA has on file. Community and faith-based organizations will also be enlisted to help locate and contact those on the list.
"Our goal in reengineering is simple: to make the list easier to manage for the agency so that we may set realistic expectations for our clients as to how long it will take to get housed," said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman in a press release.
With demolition of more than 400 units in Barry Farm Dwellings planned for 2016, hundreds of vacant units at Highland Dwellings and Highland Addition waiting to be filled, and future funding in question, the "reengineering process" will give DCHA an accurate account of the number of people still seeking housing and the type of housing units they seek.
Waiting list applicants are encouraged to contact DCHA online at www.DCHousing.org/NOW or calling DCHA at (202) 535-1000 during regular business hours.