A recent Washington Post article highlights the Grenfell Tower fire, a building poorly constructed with questionable materials that was approved with little accountable municipal permitting review.
The Grenfell fire illustrated in searing fashion the perils of life in Britain’s public housing high-rises, where years of unheeded warnings, slashed costs and deregulation all added up to a tragedy unlike any Britain has seen in at least a century.
But the aftermath has shined a spotlight on a different problem with Britain’s strained-to-the-breaking-point housing system — a severe shortage of affordable options that has left people desperate for a roof over their heads.
The article captures London’s construction boom in a way that closely matches the problems in the District. DCRA is DC’s permitting office which is under much scrutiny for similar oversight and permitting failures. And DC has been experiencing an affordable housing crisis for more than a decade.
The article sheds light on DC’s major planning and permitting problems. It’s a good read, if sad for all those families hurt or killed and displaced.