Yesterday, Mayor Bowser presented her budget to the DC Council in a hearing where she and the Councilmembers were able to highlight achievements and raise concerns. CNHED was there to support investments made in affordable housing and to address homelessness in the District. In opening statements, nearly all members of the DC Council applauded the $100 million investment in the Housing Production Trust Fund by name. Many also shared appreciation that Mayor Bowser increased investments to improve services to DC’s homeless families and individuals.
Housing and Community Development Committee Chair Anita Bonds expressed her appreciation to the Mayor starting off “specifically thanking you for commitment that Housing Production Trust Fund is fully funded at $100 million.” Committee member Silverman added, “I was happy to see in the budget a fully-funded Housing Production Trust Fund. We’ve lost more than 20,000 affordable housing units in the past decade, which is astounding. We’re doing a good job of attracting new residents and creating jobs, but it’s difficult for our workers to afford to live here.”
Mayor Bowser reiterated her commitments to addressing DC’s housing and homelessness issues. Many investments in this year’s budget are towards the Interagency Council on Homelessness’ goals of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-reoccurring. She specifically talked about the $100 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund saying that it is more than a tag-line, rather it is “a promise to do everything we can to preserve and create affordable housing.”
Mayor Bowser also previewed that she will be announcing the creation of a preservation strike force to help ensure that DC does not lose some of the most affordable homes we already have.
Some questions arose about the use of the Housing Production Trust Fund. CNHED will continue to work with the DC Council to build their appreciation of the good work the Housing Production Trust Fund does – including the 2,300 homes that are currently in the process of being built or renovated thanks to the Trust Fund. All of the Housing Production Trust Fund investments made in the last two years have gone into those projects, so the $100 million announced this year will be used to create new housing opportunities.
“We encourage the Council to stand with the Mayor and the Council’s unanimous legislation and ensure $100 million remains in the Housing Production Trust Fund and to make investments across the Continuum of Housing in this year’s budget,” said CNHED Executive Director Steve Glaude.