DC's Tenant Purchase at Risk in this Budget: Come Learn About the Value this Program Offers Our City

April 18, 2011

Reggie Walker, President of Copeland Manor Co-op told the story of how purchasing his coop with his neighbors using the Tenant Purchase process and Housing Production Trust Fund dollars allowed him to send his two daughters to college and for his son to benefit from the improvements made at Eastern High School where he is a freshman.

Thousands of residents in the District have become homeowners through Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), preserved their affordable housing and have taken control over the future of their housing. On Tuesday, residents and advocates will urge the Council to protect this vital tool for preserving affordable housing at a Roundtable on the District’s Tenant Purchase Program hosted by Councilmember Michael Brown

DC is facing an $18 million cut from the Housing Production Trust Fund, the main source of financing for the tenant purchase program.  In recent years there has been a major decrease in the Housing Production Trust Fund, due to the downturn in the real estate market, severely limiting the number of tenants who can get an affordable loan from the city in order to purchase their building. Now, the proposed $18 million cut from the Fund in the 2012 budget would essentially wipe out this funding source for new projects. Without financing from the Fund, tenant purchase will cease to be accessible to low-income residents.

At CNHED’s Continuum of Housing Roundtable in March, Juan Pablo Vacatello from Mi Casa Inc. broke down the value of the Tenant Purchase Program:

There is return on the city’s investment. With a one-time investment, the city will receive back money from interest and principal payments from the loan. At the same time, tenant purchase is a unique tool that can be used to leverage significant private funds through public investment.  The city’s investment can be one of the most cost-effective tools in terms of low-income housing preservation, especially in neighborhoods where replacement of affordable units lost would be much more expensive.

Come hear about the successes and struggles of DC residents who have used the Tenant Purchase program. And get the first look at a new documentary film about DC’s tenant purchase: “We Own This”

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011; 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Council Chamber (Room 500) at the Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW DC, 20001

 

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