Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home and no one should be homeless for years. Fortunately, the Mayor and DC Council have made a promise to ensure affordable housing, end chronic homelessness, and build a DC where all residents thrive. To fulfill these promises, several key investments are needed in the FY 17 budget. Join us at the Fulfill the Promise rally!
Commit at least $100 million a year to the Housing Production Trust Fund.
The Housing Production Trust Fund is crucial to creating and preserving affordable housing for District residents. The Trust Fund plays a key role in the preservation of existing affordable housing by enabling tenants to purchase their buildings and preserve them as affordable. It also helps to build new affordable housing for rent or purchase and creates new permanent supportive housing units to end chronic homelessness.
End chronic homelessness by 2017 and ensure more housing options for families.
We support Homeward DC, the District’s plan to end all homelessness, including the goal to end chronic homelessness by 2017. Approximately 2,000 new units of housing are needed to end chronic homelessness for individuals. We urge elected officials to meet at least half of the need in FY 17, and the remainder in FY 18. In particular we recommend:
- Investing $8.6 million in Permanent Supportive Housing and $6.8 million in Targeted Affordable Housing for individuals in FY17.
- Investing $6.2 million in Permanent Supportive Housing and $4 million in Targeted Affordable Housing for families in FY17.
- Continuing the production of Permanent Supportive Housing and Targeted Affordable Housing for individuals and families through the Consolidated Request for Proposals to ensure a long-term stock of housing that meets the needs of DC’s homeless population.
Fund the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) at a level of $13.2 million for a robust first-time homeownership program.
Downpayment assistance is a critical tool to help first-time buyers purchase homes in the District. This increase of approximately $4 million would allow DHCD to fund 240 loans, the agency’s goal for FY16, with an increased award amount.
Commit an additional $5 million to the Tenant-Based Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP) to serve new families on the waiting list for affordable housing.
Tens of thousands of families are waiting for an affordable housing voucher allowing them to have housing security and relieve their high housing cost burden. Continued investments in the tenant-based LRSP are critical to provide these families with affordable housing options.
Commit an additional $3.6 million to the Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP) to increase the production of housing for residents and serve 300 extremely low-income households.
LRSP is crucial to the production of rental housing for extremely low income families and individuals in the District. This funding is needed to meet the goals of the Homeward DC plan by supporting the production of Permanent Supportive Housing in new developments, including the 5% required in all DHCD-funded projects. It is also needed to ensure the Housing Production Trust Fund meets its statutory requirements to use 40% of the Trust Fund at 0-30% AMI to serve individuals and families with extremely low incomes.
Preserve affordable housing and protect vulnerable tenants through Rent Stabilization Reforms.
The District boasts the nation’s strongest rent stabilization laws, but significant loopholes are undermining the laws’ goals of preserving affordable housing and protecting vulnerable tenants. Reforms to the rent control law must:
- Protect seniors and people with disabilities from extreme rent increases
- Preserve affordable rent stabilized housing
- Improve the petition process to ensure fairness to tenants
- Improve the Voluntary Agreement process to preserve rent-stabilized housing
- Prohibit the selective or delayed implementation of approved rent increases in petitions
- Clarify the definition of “substantial rehabilitation”