Residents Sue District Over Homeless Shelter

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District, seeking to stop the building of a homeless shelter in Northwest Washington until they are allowed input on the location, citing nonobservance of the District of Columbia ANC Act, according to court papers. The residents allege that the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners were never notified or asked for input about the shelter relocations, part of the Homeless Shelter Replacement Act.

The lawsuit calls for the relocation process to be stopped, and for a halt to the construction of a 50-bed shelter in the parking lot of the Metropolitan Police Department’s 2nd District Station, until the ANC commissioners are given their right to weigh in. The intent of the act, passed earlier this year, was to move large shelters off private property and create a larger number of smaller shelters on District property.

Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh offered a different viewpoint in an Aug. 24 statement: “From the beginning, nearby residents who oppose the Idaho Avenue shelter have claimed that the ANC had to approve the legislation the council voted on. However, this misunderstands the process.”

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