Every year we work with you to make sure DC passes a budget that addresses the housing needs of District residents. We count on you to help us tell the story of why it is so important to make these housing investments. Here are our recommendations for the FY15 budget.
Commit at least $100 million each year for the Housing Production Trust Fund by increasing the amount of ongoing and one-time funding in the FY15 budget to reach $100 million this year, and committing future end of year surplus funds to the Trust Fund. The Trust Fund budget proposed by the Mayor is currently $29.1 million short of $100 million.
- The Housing Production Trust Fund is the backbone of housing preservation and development in DC. It is crucial to keeping and expanding the affordable housing needed for DC families and individuals. The Trust Fund plays a key role in:
- The preservation of existing affordable housing
- Building new affordable housing to rent or purchase
- Reaching the ICH’s production goals to end chronic homelessness by 2020
- Allowing tenants to purchase their buildings and preserve it as affordable
- Throughout the last few months, many councilmembers have introduced legislation or spoken out in support of $100 million for the Trust Fund.
- It is crucial that funding remain available for Tenant Purchase opportunities year round. DHCD should reserve $20 million within a fully funded $100 million Trust Fund to allow that program to work for hundreds of low income residents.
- We support the Budget Support Act language committing one half of all unrestricted surplus dollars to the Housing Production Trust Fund once savings obligations are met.
Fund the ICH plan to end chronic homelessness by 2020. This requires an increase of $1.2 million for services and at least $1.8 million for leasing in the Department of Human Services budget.
- The Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) plan lays out a roadmap to end chronic homelessness by 2020, requiring increased funding each year. This year, the budget is still short reaching that goal.
- The DC Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the end of chronic homelessness by 2020, following the ICH plan.
Commit $4 million to the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) to to help District residents transition from renting to homeownership. The HPAP program saw a $1.5 million cut in Mayor Gray’s budget, even with increased demand this year.
- The BSA should reflect an increase in the maximum allowable HPAP loan amount to $50,000 per applicant. The HPAP loan amounts were cut during the recession in conjunction with HPAP program cuts. Lower loan amounts severely limit the number of homes that are HPAP eligible in a rapidly rising housing market.
- We support the $300,000 commitment made in Mayor Gray’s budget to support new homeowners East of the River. This additional outreach should increase the pool of potential HPAP recipients, which would in turn require increased funding for HPAP.
Commit $2 million to the Local Rent Supplement Program to increase the production of housing for residents with extremely low incomes and for permanent supportive housing. LRSP is crucial to the production of rental housing for extremely low income families in the District. It is also a key component in the plan to end chronic homelessness by 2020. An increase of $2 million would allow for the production of permanent supportive housing and other housing for extremely low income residents.
- We also support increasing LRSP to provide additional tenant-based vouchers but do not have a budget recommendation at this time.