Washington, DC – Attorney General Karl A. Racine has launched a comprehensive new community-outreach effort for the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), beginning with a February 5 meeting in Ward 5 to hear residents’ concerns about housing affordability and habitability for low-income seniors in the District.
The Attorney General was invited by a resident group at Wesley House Senior Apartments to discuss both specific and citywide issues related to housing availability and quality. He resolved to work with OAG staff, residents, management and members of the Council on legislation that helps seniors with limited incomes attain good housing – including seniors who do not qualify for housing vouchers, but who still cannot afford market-rate housing in the District.
“The meeting at Wesley House was a good illustration of an issue that I know is very real for an increasing number of seniors in the District: How to continue to afford to live in the city they love and where they have lived for most or all of their lives,” Attorney General Racine said. “Ensuring that we make housing more affordable for seniors and other District residents was one of the reasons I ran for office, and I am anxious to do everything we can through OAG to improve access to affordable housing in our city.”
The Attorney General was accompanied at the meeting by several members of the OAG staff, who were able to help residents with specific concerns or questions. They included Vanessa Natale, who heads the OAG Neighborhood and Victims Services Section; Assistant Attorney General Argatonia Weatherington; and Robert White, who is leading Attorney General Racine’s community-outreach efforts.
The meeting was the first in a major new emphasis on community outreach that OAG is launching under Attorney General Racine’s leadership. In the Keys to Justice report, which he released during his campaign, Mr. Racine promised to create a community-outreach office to engage residents on issues of concern to multiple communities. Attorney General Racine is now establishing and staffing that office.
Wesley House resident Leona Redmond, who invited Attorney General Racine to address the meeting, thanked him for his participation and his responsiveness.
“I am so grateful to the Attorney General for making himself and his staff available to us after I called his office asking for help,” Ms. Redmond said. “His concern for the residents and his command of the issues around housing affordability were both evident in our meeting, and I look forward to working with him in the future to resolve some of our specific concerns as well as concerns that we share with residents across the District.”