- Phone: (202) 558-9745
- Mailing Address: 1616 7th St, NW, Washington DC, 20001
“They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat.” - Isaiah 65:21-22
It’s no secret that D.C. has a housing problem. Over the last decade, rents have risen more than 30 percent while the number of affordable units has dropped by more than 50 percent and incomes for low-income residents have remained stagnant. Currently there are only 44 affordable units available for every 100 families in need of one. And those affordable units that do exist are concentrated in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, compounding poverty far from the areas of opportunity, grocery stores, transportation, and jobs.
In short, the city is in need of Justice Housing.
Justice housing is not just affordable. It is also sustainable, accessible, and integrated into DC’s fabric. Justice housing upholds human dignity and honors the rights of every person, as an image-bearer of God, to have a safe, healthy place to call home.
There are already talented individuals and organizations working to address the affordable housing crisis in DC, but we believe the local church can play a unique role. Over the past year, we have been researching, brainstorming, and working to identify the resources our church has, the gaps in current work to address the problem, and the ways we could use our resources to fill those gaps. On Sunday November 5th, we officially announced the newest District Church Justice Ministry: The Justice Housing Initiative.
Our vision is to seek a just city where everyone has a home.
Our mission is to connect the most vulnerable residents of DC with housing that reflects the justice we seek for our city.
Our initiative includes three key steps that tackle the problem from unique angles:
INVEST: We will put our money where our hearts are by investing in development of justice housing in the District.
ADVOCATE: We will support churches in casting a vision for justice housing development on the 3.7 million square feet of vacant church-owned land in the District, in order to eliminate the deficit of housing affordable to our low-income neighbors.
SERVE: We will help make a house a home by walking with families as they search for and transition into justice housing.
To hear more of the backstory of this initiative and learn how our plans connect with work our church already does to seek justice in the District of Columbia, check out Pastor Aaron’s interview of Wally Adeyemo and Chelsea Geyer.
In the next few months, we will be laying the foundation to formally launch this ministry in the new year and we need your support to do so. This is a ministry of the church body as a whole, and we are eager to draw on the passion and expertise of the members of this community as we carry out the vision of this initiative. If you are interested in signing up to participate, learn more, or help us make valuable connections in the city, please email me. I look forward to working with you!