Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Irene Ly: This week’s best and worst

Irene Ly, a junior majoring in psychology, is the Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.

In case you missed it, here’s the best and worst news from around campus and the District this week.

Thumbs up:

D.C. is finally on its way to becoming a little more affordable for residents.

The District’s Zoning Commission voted last week to allow developers to construct larger buildings than they are able to currently if they agree to build more units with lower monthly rents, the Washington City Paper reported Tuesday.

If the D.C. Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser approve the program, more than 2,600 affordable units would be built over the next five to 10 years, according to the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute and the Coalition for Smarter Growth.

Currently, inclusionary zoning requires new residential buildings to set aside one-bedroom units that cost $1,600 or less a month, which are meant for families with an annual income of around $79,000 or lower to comfortably afford. The change would require those one-bedroom units to cost $1,100 or less per month for people making $59,000 or less per year.

The changes in zoning standards are intended to help the many low and middle-income residents who spend more than half of their income on housing costs.

While rent in D.C. may be too damn high, we should be seeing more affordable units popping up around the area over the next few years. Not only will more housing with affordable rents reduce the financial burden of low income families, it will also make it more feasible for college students working jobs with entry-level salaries to stay here after graduation.

Thumbs down:

Getting home after a night out could get a lot harder, even after SafeTrack is over.

WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld will announce a new proposal that would permanently end late-night weekend rail service after SafeTrack maintenance is completed next March, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Under the proposal, Metro service would end at midnight Fridays and Saturdays, instead of 3 a.m. and at 10 p.m. Sundays. The earlier closing times would give overnight workers enough time to perform repairs and maintenance on the system.

If WMATA chooses to change the hours of operation, no doubt it will have an impact on college students and adults going out on the weekends, giving them few options outside of a much-more-expensive Uber ride.

The proposal will have the most detrimental effect on restaurants and small businesses, who have been voicing their opposition to the proposal. Business owners have said that the earlier suspension of service on weekends would negatively impact nightlife and business and the ability of workers to get home after their late shifts, according to the Washington City Paper.

But the plan might not become a reality, thankfully. Metro’s board of directors will have to approve Wiedefeld’s proposal before they decide on permanent changes
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