Bradley Freedman

  • Hosted by Bread for the City
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps VISTA, Bread for the City
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Issue area Housing - Affordable Housing/Microfinance
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program AmeriCorps VISTA

The Project

Bradley works alongside residents of project-based Section 8 properties in Washington, D.C. to preserve these properties’ long-term affordability. He also helps tenants of HUD-subsidized properties organize and advocate to ensure that their homes are safe, sanitary, and healthy.

In the last 15 years the District of Columbia lost almost half of its affordable housing units. Currently, 25% of renters in the District are severely rent-burdened, meaning they spend over half of their income on rent and utilities. Low-income residents have it even worse—64% of the lowest-income residents are severely rent-burdened. As rents continue to rise while incomes remain stagnant, the District’s residents are finding it increasingly difficult to pay for housing while also paying for other necessities. Indeed, many D.C. residents can no longer pay for housing at all, which has led to a major homelessness crisis in the District. The federal government has not created any new project-based Section 8 housing in decades. Thus, it is vital to preserve D.C.’s remaining HUD-subsidized housing. It is also important for tenants of subsidized properties to know and understand their rights so that they can advocate for the safe, sanitary, and healthy homes that everyone deserves.

Fellowship Highlights

During Bradley’s Fellowship, Bradley:

  • Represented tenant organizations that are negotiating with management and ownership to ensure that their homes are safe, sanitary, and in good repair
  • Worked with tenants and owners on HUD-subsidized properties to ensure that these properties remain affordable for low-income residents
  • Organized tenants so that they can gain the knowledge and skills to advocate for themselves
  • Engaged in capacity-building at his host site so that Bread for the City can continue fighting to preserve affordable housing in Washington, D.C.

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