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A DVISORY N EIGHBORHOOD C OMMISSION 7C04 T OGETHER …B ETTER !

September 9, 2010

Mr. Hans Froelicher


District of Columbia Housing Authority
Office of the General Counsel
1133 North Capitol Street NE, Suite 210
Washington, DC 20002-7599
Via Electronic Mail: hfroelic@dchousing.org

RE: HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM CHANGES

Dear Mr. Froelicher:

I am submitting comments to the DC Housing Authority’s Housing Choice Voucher Program proposal
concerning residents who may have criminal charges and convictions. It is critically important for the
agency to implement its proposed criminal eviction rules.

One of the biggest concerns I receive as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner is the behavior and
upkeep of housing units in the Housing by Choice Voucher Program. In fact Director Todman and
Ombudsman Diane Oliver have presented to ANC7C and community organizations like the Metropolitan
Police Department Citizens Advisory Council (Sixth District) and the Capitol View Civic Association.
At these meetings the representatives heard resident complaints about loud music, unkempt yards, and
suspicious and/or criminal behavior from the tenants. Granted homeowner neighbors should take the
opportunity to meet rental neighbors. However, no neighbor regardless of residency type should have to
contend with residential behavior that could impact public safety and quality of life and disrupts peace
and order.

There are instances of landlords being stymied when trying to evict tenants with criminal charges and
convictions because of a stringent bureaucratic process. Harboring and, ultimately, encouraging criminal
activity should not be an indirect benefit of protecting and providing affordable housing. While the
problematic tenants should be held accountable, my constituents and I believe landlords are at times
culpable due to inattentive ownership. Landlords should have sanctions as well. If a tenant is found to
have committed criminal activity, whether on or off the HCVP property, and there is documentation
based on crime report calls documented by the Metropolitan Police Department the landlord should be
removed from the program or put on a probationary status. To avert being put on probationary status or
being removed the landlord should have provided documentation to the Housing Authority noting his/her
concerns. Additionally, the Housing Authority should provide assistance to the landlord to evict the
problem tenant such as coordinating a meeting with the police district and United States Attorney’s
Office.

The Housing Choice Voucher Program is a lifeline for many individuals and families. Its integrity and
benefit is being ruined because of tenant behavior and landlord abandonment of responsibility. The
criminal eviction rules are a step in the right direction. I hope the Authority will take this opportunity to
evaluate its entire program participation rules to improve the housing units’ and residents’ integration
into neighborhoods. I stand ready to assist.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at 202-398-5100 or brown.sylvia2@gmail.com should there be any


questions. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Sylvia Brown
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 7C04

Sylvia C. Brown, ANC 7C-04


4651 N.H. Burroughs Avenue NE Suite 2 Washington, DC 20019
P: 202-398-5100 E: brown.sylvia2@gmail.com