Friday, November 03, 2006

Childless Couples Aren't Families, DC Needs More Kids, Says Post.

Families Absent From Flourishing D.C., Study Says
The housing boom that has reinvigorated the District of Columbia and pumped millions into city coffers has been lopsided, attracting waves of singles, empty nesters and childless couples but not families needed for stability, according to a study released today.

The report on District housing, produced by the Urban Institute and the Fannie Mae Foundation, recommends that the city create affordable housing in particular neighborhoods where it also would boost the quality of the public schools.

"There's a really strong consensus that Washington wants to be a city that is attractive to people with children as well as singles and empty nesters. It's that mix of households that are going to make neighborhoods stable and lively and create demand for a wide variety of services and retail," said Margery Austin Turner, an Urban Institute demographer. "The current trends do point in the wrong direction."

Part of that stems from a hot real estate market where most new housing units are expensive condominiums favored by singles and couples without children.

The city's struggling school system also is seen as a deterrent to attracting and retaining families with school-age children, according to the study. "Because the school system in the District of Columbia has had so many challenges, many families choose not to live in the city," said Stacey D. Stewart, president and chief executive of the Fannie Mae Foundation.. . .
Washington D.C. was recently confirmed as the nation's fourth most dangerous city)

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