For the last three months, we have worked to make sure that programs that ensure Housing For All and Neighborhood Economic Development were funded in DC’s FY12 budget. Funding for Small Business Technical Assistance and homeless services was committed in the first budget vote on May 25; but funding for other items, such as the Housing Production Trust Fund and Housing First, were subject to future revenue and a second vote. Since the first vote on May 25, we have worked to make sure all of the funds raised by the new tax on out of state bonds stay in the budget. We needed that to ensure that programs on the future restorations list receive funding if there is more revenue than expected in FY12.
Yesterday, the City Council voted on the final version of the budget. It came down to a tight vote, but a majority of the Council chose to reject any exemptions from the out-of-state bond tax and commit this future funding to programs. We commend Councilmembers Alexander, Barry, M. Brown, Graham, Mendelson, Orange, and Wells on this important vote.
Unfortunately we did see a set-back yesterday as well. Late last week, it became clear that there were additional spending pressures in the area of health care that needed to be addressed. As a result, $44 million dollars worth of programs were added to the top of the list to meet this funding need. Restoration of housing programs, including the Housing Production Trust Fund, are now further from getting funded from future revenue than they were in May. See full list of restoration priorities here.
Thank you to all of the CNHED members and Continuum of Housing Campaign supporters who dedicated your time and energy to this budget. We will continue to advocate for restoration of our dedicated funding to the Trust Fund and investment in housing along the continuum of affordable housing. We look forward to continuing to raise the profile of affordable housing and smart economic development in DC, and we will keep you posted on future developments and ways to get involved.