D.C. moved homeless to upscale apartment building. It hasn’t gone as planned

D.C. moved homeless to upscale apartment building. It hasn’t gone as planned

[Ed. – On the other hand, I think it would work out well for everybody if I could be subsidized to the tune of more than $2,400 a month. Even in D.C., where your rental dollar doesn’t go as far as some other places.]

The SWAT team, the overdose, the complaints of pot smoke in the air and feces in the stairwell — it would be hard to pinpoint a moment when things took a turn for the worse at Sedgwick Gardens, a stately apartment building in Northwest Washington.

But the Art Deco complex, which overlooks Rock Creek Park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is today the troubled locus of a debate on housing policy in a city struggling with the twin crises of homelessness and gentrification.

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“It’s not about the voucher program. It’s not about racism. It’s about people’s conduct and behavior,” said Lorraine Starkes, 61, a formerly homeless woman who moved into Sedgwick Gardens using a voucher about two years ago.

Starkes, who is black, said some of her fellow tenants with vouchers were not properly screened by city officials before moving in. Now, she said, those residents have overwhelmed her new home and “are trying to turn it into a ghetto.”

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