This month, Jubilee Housing initiates work on “Justice Housing in Action ,” the organization’s bold, new five-year plan to create additional justice housing in Washington, D.C.
Jubilee Housing is taking on this challenge because, in the capital of a nation built on opportunity and justice for all, the wealth gap between affluent residents and those with the fewest assets is greater than in all but two of the country’s 50 largest cities. In fact, one in four D.C. residents lives with a low income, and, therefore, is more likely to have an unstable home, reside in an unsafe neighborhood, and lack access to essential resources.
Families with low and very low incomes—those who work in home health care, maintenance, food preparation, and child care, for example—are being forced out of neighborhoods they’ve called home for decades. They can no longer afford to live near programs that provide crucial support and in areas where resources are readily accessible. Yet, research shows that where people live, down to the zip code, directly affects future success.
“To address the growing divide in our city, Jubilee Housing has broadened its mission to foster equity and bring about justice through housing—justice housing,” said Jim Knight, Jubilee Housing’s executive director. Knight defined justice housing as deeply affordable, with onsite or nearby supportive programs, and located in resource-rich neighborhoods. “In justice housing communities, all are welcome and valued for their contributions, regardless of their income level or background,” he said.
“Justice Housing in Action” outlines four strategic goals that will guide Jubilee in creating strong and equitable justice housing communities.
Goal 1: Create a resident-centric experience that supports individuals and families in Jubilee communities in achieving success through justice housing.
Goal 2: Increase the number of justice housing properties in Jubilee’s portfolio by 30 percent.
Goal 3: Develop the human, financial, and social capital to deliver new justice housing.
Goal 4: Enhance Jubilee’s culture and operations to enable the organization to sustain its justice housing.
The plan calls for Jubilee Housing to take specific steps related to each of those goals, over the next five years. For example, the plan directs Jubilee to increase its portfolio of deeply affordable homes by 100 units. “Justice Housing in Action” also authorizes Jubilee to diversify funding sources, by partnering with other nonprofits and engaging new donors. Further, it charges Jubilee with establishing channels for regular resident participation in the design and execution of Jubilee’s work.
Jubilee Housing’s ambitious strategy will set the District on the path to becoming a city in which all residents benefit from D.C.’s recent progress and live lives they deem successful.
Jubilee invites everyone who lives, work, or enjoys the many opportunities available in D.C. to assist the Jubilee community in achieving these five-year goals—to ensure a city where everyone can thrive.