Barry's Plan To "Save" Chocolate City

Yesterday former DC Mayor and current Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry proposed the world's worst solution to poverty in his ward, which is "encouraging homeownership" by banning new apartment buildings:

"The American dream is to own a home. And black people have not gotten the American dream as much as they need to," Barry says. "Somebody can rent for 20 years, and has no equity in their unit at all."

"I've thought about this," Barry finishes. "It's not a kneejerk reaction."

As Matthew Yglesias notes, he hasn't thought about it very well. The impact of this policy would be the speedy gentrification of Ward 8, since reducing the availability of affordable housing would mean that only those best positioned to become homeowners would move in. Those would be the influx of white professionals Barry proclaimed he was going to "save" Chocolate City from.

"The Plan" is an old conspiracy DC conspiracy theory that alleges there's a secret plot to wrest control of the city from its black residents by displacing them. It's not very secretive, but Barry's proposal is about as close as one gets to a workable version for Ward 8.

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