M.M.Minderhoud / Wikipedia

Ask any inner city resident why so many people are moving away or becoming homeless here in Washington, and they will say that housing is our biggest issue.

Leaks and other advocates from all over the region collaborated at the teach-in picnic to place residents in direct contact with information about Washington’s housing woes. The situation looks grim. The city still has thousands of people on a waiting list for federal and locally subsidized Section 8 housing.

“We are entitled to affordable housing,” said Keith Silver, an Advisory Neighborhood Commission participant. Yet he said he has become disillusioned with the workings of developers and and thinks of affordable housing as “an illusion, a mirage and a trick.”

A family of four making minimum wage cannot afford housing in this city, said participant Johnny Barnes who described situations where low income residents were forced to move out of a property for remodeling and were promised affordable housing, only to see luxury apartments or condos replace their homes.

“Developers have no commitment to our neighborhoods or our city,” Barnes concluded angrily.