Huge Wins for Affordable Housing & Small Business in DC FY16 Budget!

May 27, 2015

The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED) applauds our District of Columbia leaders for their tremendous work in ensuring that the FY16 budget includes major investments across the continuum of housing and in creating economic opportunity for District residents.

The budget that the Council unanimously passed Wednesday, May 27, 2015 would not have been possible without the sustained voices of CNHED’s members, small business owners and advocates, Housing For All Campaign supporters, and others calling for investments in some of DC’s most effective programs. CNHED also appreciates our allies at the Fair Budget Coalition, WIN and the Way Home Campaign for our shared commitment to addressing affordable housing and homelessness.

We thank everyone who has taken action with us – including the morning of the vote as we faced the risk of losing $9 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund. Your advocacy ensured that funds raised through the Trust Fund’s dedicated tax are directed into the Trust Fund this year.

Today, Council Chair Mendelson presented for a vote by the full Council an FY16 budget that maintains or increases investments in nearly all of CNHED’s priority programs. The budget retains Mayor Bowser’s excellent foundation for key housing and economic development programs, and increases investment by approximately $9 million for other key programs such as the Local Rent Supplement Program, Permanent Supportive Housing, etc. that support the expansion of affordable housing. 

The leadership of the District is demonstrating a deep commitment to solving some of the most intransigent problems our District residents face. We are very pleased with how our District leaders listened to CNHED’s budget recommendations throughout the process. We are delighted in how CNHED’s housing and business expertise was sought – from the Mayor’s transition through the final days of budget negotiation- we are heartened to have District leaders that listen to and respect the practitioners.                                 Susanne Slater, President of CNHED’s Board

The District’s FY16 budget included:
$100 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund
The Mayor and Council all held fast to their commitment to this critical program for which CNHED has advocated for years. CNHED is excited to see a shared understanding and commitment to the preservation and production of affordable housing.

$8.8 million increase for Permanent Supportive Housing
This includes an increase by Council of $1.8 million. This, combined with the investment proposed by Mayor Bowser, will serve 110 families and 365 individuals through new Permanent Supportive Housing leasing and services funding, as recommended in the Interagency Council on Homelessness Strategic Plan. The investment makes great strides to end chronic homelessness and improve the lives of people who have lived on DC’s streets for too long.

$9 million increase for Local Rent Supplement Program tenant-based vouchers
Increases from the Council include $5 million for traditional tenant-based vouchers and $2.3 million for Targeted Affordable Housing (TAH). Under the Interagency Council on Homelessness’ Strategic Plan, TAH meets an unmet need by serving families and individuals exiting rapid rehousing or permanent supportive housing who need ongoing housing assistance with right-sized supportive services.

From Mayor Bowser and her agency directors, to Council Chair Mendelson, Committee on Housing and Community Development Chair Bonds, and all the members of the Council, we are seeing the type of political will and courage the District of Columbia needs to make living and working here possible for all residents. We will continue to work in concert with our leaders to ensure the programs are implemented successfully.
Stephen Glaude, Executive Director of CNHED

$2.4 Million for Local Rent Supplement Program project and sponsor-based vouchers to produce affordable housing
This investment will help ensure the Housing Production Trust Fund meet its requirement to dedicate 40% of the Trust Fund to serve households at 0-30% AMI.

$9.7 Home Purchase Assistance Program
While Council did not increase funding for the Home Purchase Assistance Program, the Committee report did call for improvements and more oversight.

$8 million for the Great Streets Initiative
The budget includes $4 million for H Street and $4 million city-wide to support the revitalization of the District’s beleaguered commercial corridors.

$3 million for Small Business Technical Assistance
The Council this year created a new stand-alone line item [3015] this year with a healthy $3 million allocation to “provide accessibility and transparency.” SBTA had been lumped in with other programs without a specific amount allocated.

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