WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 15, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Manna joined with CNHED and other groups across the Continuum of Housing to advocate at the DC City Council for various affordable housing and economic development needs on Monday, April 13th. Our very own Marilyn Philips, was one of the main speakers. She eloquently shared with a full room about what a difference the HPAP program will make in her ability to purchase a home with her husband Kelvin.
Both Councilmember Jack Evans and Councilmember Muriel Bowser joined the 100+ affordable housing crowd to demonstrate their support. A huge “Thank you” goes out to CNHED for their efforts to organize such a powerful advocacy team! Below please find this year’s budget ask to support a variety of housing needs across the Continuum! For access to more Advocacy Day pictures, please click here:
The proposed FY 14 budget reflects the work of the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force and is an important first step toward solving systemic problems. It provides resources with which to help people leave emergency shelter and provides significant new resources with which to create and preserve additional units of affordable housing for low-income residents of the District.
District residents have highlighted the needs for affordable housing in events across the city and in the One City Summit where it was the number one participant concern. Mayor Gray has proposed a budget that invests in programs we know work to reduce homelessness and housing burden. Now, Council has the opportunity to take these proposals even further. CNHED’s recommendations for the FY 14 budget are:
Maintain the FY 14 portion of the $100 million commitment to affordable housing proposed by Mayor Gray.
$20 million dollars to permanently end transfers from the Trust Fund to pay for the Local Rent Supplement Program
- $3 million for Project and Sponsor Based Local Rent Supplement Program – in addition to the $2 million committed for FY 14 by Council last year. $2 million should remain committed to permanent supportive housing particularly for homeless families and individuals through the Consolidated RFP, and $3 million should be made available as soon as possible for projects that serve households at 0 – 30% Area Median Income, with preference given to permanent supportive housing in general.
- $1 million for the Home Purchase Assistance Program which partially offsets reduced local funding
- Additional funds for: Emergency Rental Assistance, Rapid Rehousing, Victims Services Housing, and a Housing Database
Protect the Housing Production Trust Fund
- Monitor the $4 million “borrowed” for summer school
Mayor Gray proposed using $67 million of the FY 13 supplemental to jump start affordable housing production through the Trust Fund. The Council voted to “borrow” $4 million of those dollars. DC can’t reach its housing production goals if the Trust Fund can be used for other programs. We need a clear commitment that those funds will be repaid at the end of the WMATA fiscal year. The Mayor has committed to stopping the practice of transferring funds from the Trust Fund for other purposes. We need the Council to do the same.
Fund programs that address the immediate housing needs of low income DC households.
- Add $4.3 million to the Permanent Supportive Housing Program for chronically homeless households.
To move and keep people out of homelessness, and to help them reach their full economic potential, the budget must include housing for the chronically homeless that is paired with appropriate levels of services. The Interagency Council on Homelessness Permanent Supportive Housing Production Committee recommends adding $4.3 million for leasing and services under this program to implement the first year of a 7 year plan to meet the need for long term subsidy with services for the chronically homeless.
- Add $2 million to the tenant based Local Rent Supplement Program to eliminate housing burden for 130 extremely low income households.
The “first installment” in DC’s comprehensive housing strategy should include funding for both the production of new units that will become available beginning in 2015 and funding for tenant based vouchers to begin housing people on the DC Housing Authority’s waiting list this year. $2 million of tenant based LRSP would eliminate housing burden for 130 extremely low income households and reflect the 70/30 allocation of funds between the project/sponsor based and tenant based elements of the program that the Housing Authority Board has historically supported.
Fully fund the Home Purchase Assistance Program.
- Restore the $1 million needed to keep level funding.
Homeownership stabilizes neighborhoods and helps break the cycle of poverty by building generational wealth, but DC has a very low homeownership rate. The Home Purchase Assistance Program helps DC realize those benefits by helping low and moderate income families become homeowners. HPAP also has a lower foreclosure rate than the regional average, due to homeowner training provided by nonprofits.
The proposed FY 14 budget recognizes success by increasing funding for the Small Business Technical Assistance Program.
This program allows the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide grants that fund community-based nonprofit organizations to provide technical assistance, support, and training to small and retail businesses in DC. The program is focused on neglected commercial corridors in low- and moderate-income areas. Neighborhoods benefiting from this investment include: Rhode Island Avenue, NE, Petworth, Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Georgia Avenue, Congress Heights, Columbia Heights, Anacostia, and more.
SBTA grant recipients provide individual entrepreneurs with business planning, micro-loan packaging, entrepreneurial assistance, and legal assistance.
Grant recipients are also engaged in business attraction, business retention, and collective business support activities including the formation of business alliances, business corridor promotion, mass marketing, volume discount efforts, and collective space management.
Grantees collaborate closely with DHCD, DSLBD, other government agencies, and each other to amplify every dollar to support small business in DC.
This year, SBTA grantees worked with CNHED and the Department of Small and Local Business Development to spearhead a series of Small Business Policy Forums that engage small businesses, government officials, and technical assistance providers in frank and focused conversation about what small businesses need in order to perform even better going forward. They also testified in support of more standardized outcomes measures for SBTA grantees in order to better integrate their services and document the successes of the program.
DC Council and Mayor Gray have emphasized the key role of small businesses in our economy.
Grantees help start, sustain, and strengthen local small businesses, which in turn create jobs, generate revenues, and pay taxes in the District. Local small businesses pay business and payroll taxes, create jobs for local employees who pay income taxes, and encourage neighborhood transformation. District government and residents have spoken out about the need for neighborhood serving retail, and it was a major theme in the results of the One City Summit attended by 1800 people.
The Council has supported this program in the past, and DC communities need it to do so again.
The Small Business Technical Assistance program helps stabilize neighborhoods, creates jobs, and helps keep needed tax revenue in the District. CNHED’s recommendation for the FY 14 budget is:
Support the proposed Small Business Technical Assistance budget of $2.7 million.
- $2 million (an increase of $208,000) in the FY 2014 budget
- An additional $700,000 in the Additional Revenue Contingency List in the Budget Support Act