Mayor Bowser Hosts Open House and Highlights Investments in Black Homeownership and Economic Mobility
Washington, DC – RealEstateRama – Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and the Department of Human Services (DHS) hosted an open house for a District-owned home located at 850 19th Street NE, which will soon become available for sale to a low-income first-time homebuyer. During the event, the Mayor also highlighted investments in her Fiscal Year 2024 Fair Shot budget proposal that will support Black homeownership and economic mobility for DC residents.
“I hope the message is clear: we are creating many pathways to homeownership in DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “We have pathways for people on the low end of the income spectrum, pathways for people in the middle, and pathways for people who never thought that owning a home in DC is something that could happen for them – it can. We want our residents to stay in DC; and not just stay here, but stay here and build wealth here.”
The Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal includes investments to support housing and economic mobility, including:
- $13 million to support 600 families in Career MAP
- $8 million to increase available down payment assistance through Home Purchase Assistance Program
- $1.5 million enhancement for Heirs Property Services
- $2 million to increase available funds for Single Family Residential Rehab
The Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) is available to first-time homebuyers with low or moderate incomes to purchase a home. HPAP provides down payment assistance and closing cost assistance in the form of a deferred interest free loan to help a first-time homebuyer purchase their first home. In October 2022, the Mayor increased the maximum down payment assistance that residents can receive through HPAP from $80,000 to $202,000. In the first half of fiscal year 2023, HPAP has helped 250 first-time homebuyers buy homes in DC.
“At DHCD we’re focused not just on one affordable housing tool but combining tools to the maximum benefit of the District resident,” said DHCD Acting Director Colleen Green. “By making this District-owned home for sale at less than its appraised value and using down payment assistance from the HPAP program to buy down the price further, affordable homeownership is truly within reach for our future buyer. And, if they should fall on hard times, we’ve got other tools to add to the mix later”.
The Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal also includes investments to increase the available funds for the Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program and the Heirs Property Services fund. The Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program provides grants to low-income residents and residents with disabilities to make roof repairs and accessibility improvements to their homes. The Heirs Property Services Fund, created last year as part of the Mayor’s package of Legacy Initiatives to keep more longtime Washingtonians in DC, provides grants to low-income individuals to pay for legal fees and other services to pass property on from one generation to the next.
In addition to the investments in helping first-time homeowners achieve their dreams of homeownership, the Mayor has also included in her Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal investments to maintain the Career MAP program. Career MAP is a pilot program that provides resources directly to parents who recently experienced homelessness and are committed to pursuing a career in a high-demand sector but at risk of losing benefits that support their livelihood, such as Assistance for Needy Families or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as the benefits cliff).
Career MAP provides assistance to families who are facing the benefits cliff, and recognizes that families are drivers of their own success. Career Map is currently providing 600 families who have histories of homelessness with housing and income assistance, career coaching, and family supports.
“I’m proud of the Bowser Administration’s commitment to take and show what is possible when we remove structural barriers to economic mobility” said DHS Director, Laura Green Zeilinger. “Career MAP is a pilot that will show what is possible when our entire approach shifts to recognizing that our residents are experts in their own lives, and our job is to clear the pathway on their roads to success. Mayor Bowser’s continued funding of Career MAP for 600 participating District families means a #fairshot at the middle class.”
During the event, prospective first-time homebuyers were given the opportunity to view a two-bedroom, 1.5-bathrooms, 1,140 square foot home with an appraised value of $600,000. The home will be made for sale by DHCD for $400,000 to prospective buyers making less than 50% Median Family Income (MFI) or $71,150 for a family of four. First-time homebuyers interested in purchasing the home can complete an expression of interest form to be considered by visiting dhcd.dc.gov/myfairshot.
To view a complete list of all the programs available to assist first-time homebuyers, visit frontdoor.dc.gov.
Throughout the week, the Mayor will highlight how investments in her Fiscal Year 2024 Fair Shot budget proposal support DC’s comeback through investments in housing and bringing back downtown. To learn more about Mayor Bowser’s FY24 Budget, visit budget.dc.gov.