Dozens of residents in the District came out Saturday to demand the city reinstate money for low-income housing. Under tight budget constraints, the District cut $18 million from its Housing Production Trust Fund, which many low-income families depend on for their housing. Now many families feel as if they're being forced outside of the city they call home.
"I see it as a frontal attack on the lowest income people," says Linda Leaks, a housing advocate in the District.
Leaks says elected leaders from the federal level down to city officials are putting the interests of the wealthy above everyday citizens.
"The richest 1 percent, they have the money and they should be required to share it," she says. "They got it from us."
Housing advocates say the cards are stacked against the District's poorest residents. They're particularly incensed that city officials made the cuts at a time when they say low-income residents need the help most. D.C. resident Rick Rybeck came out because he's concerned about housing affordability.
"Although the city has been somewhat more successful economically in the last several decades than it had been previously, that success can be a double edged sword," says Rybeck. "And land prices and housing prices are going up and unfortunately its making it very difficult, if not impossible for some people to continue to live in the District, people who are essential to our community."
Housing advocates are also asking for increased rent subsidies in this lingering bad economy.