Business Leaders Speak Out for Housing Production Trust Fund

April 30, 2013

On Wednesday’s hearing at the Department of Housing and Community Development, nonprofits and residents were joined by members of the business community. They told their stories of how the Housing Production Trust Fund is good for business and good for people. It creates jobs, improves neighborhoods, and creates homes. Here are their words:

Chris Hornig, Managing Partner, Klein Hornig LLP
Klein Hornig is one of the nation’s pre-eminent law firms focusing exclusively on affordable housing. I should also mention that I have lived in Mount Pleasant for the past 32 years. Every day I walk or ride my bicycle past the St. Denis and am grateful that the Housing Production Trust Fund helped preserve that important community asset. I hope you will support Mayor Gray’s proposal to provide $87 million in additional funding to the Trust Fund. In the last ten years, Klein Hornig has been involved with at least seventeen housing transactions that were assisted by the Trust Fund. Those transactions produced almost 2000 housing units affordable to low-income families, and created thousands of jobs.

Michael Wiencek testifies at DHCD hearing

Michael Wiencek testifies at DHCD hearing

Michael Wiencek, President, Wiencek + Associates Architects + Planners
I firmly believe that design truly has the power to change lives for the better, and the HPTF makes this possible. There is a difference between providing shelter and providing a home, and understanding that difference impacts whether or not we develop and create vibrant, sustainable communities or unstable, unsafe and unsustainable living environments. When we create places that are welcoming and inviting with thoughtful design, we create places that people are truly proud to call home. Providing the funding necessary to restore the Housing Production Trust Fund allows for projects like the Overlook to become not just habitable buildings, but, rather, true living communities.

Craig Pascal, Senior Vice President, Community Development Specialist, BB&T
I view investments in affordable housing as investments in economic development and our people. … If the public sector investments did not occur, I can guarantee you that many of the private sector investments we see today would not exist. As a banker, I can say that this additional public sector investment will be matched with private sector debt and equity from tax credit investors leveraging these dollars by up to hundreds of millions of dollars to maximize their benefits to the District, local communities and our residents.

Buwa Binitie, Managing Principal, Dantes Partners
I am here today to work with you and your colleagues to ensure the resources are in place to stem the tide of market rate units vis-à-vis the workforce & affordable units. The resources – once approved – will help create and preserve 1,500 to 2,000 units. These same funds can be used to leverage approximately $300 [million] of private capital – be it tax credits or loan proceeds.

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