(Washington, DC) – (RealEstateRama) – On the first day of the new fiscal year, Mayor Bowser began rolling out the investments made in her Fiscal Year 2020 Fair Shot budget. In addition to these investments, the DC Government is processing cost of living adjustments for DC Government employees; non-union DC Government employees will receive a three percent increase and the amount for union employees will vary depending on approved negotiations.
“In crafting our budget, we focused on making investments that will continue building pathways to the middle class and making our city’s prosperity more inclusive,” said Mayor Bowser. “I look forward to working with the Council on implementing the budget effectively and getting investments out the door and into the community.”
Mayor Bowser remains committed to ensuring residents across the income spectrum have access to high-quality, affordable housing. The Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes historic investments in the District’s funds to build and preserve affordable housing – $116 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund (up from $100 million in FY19) and $11.5 million for the Housing Preservation Fund (up from $10 million in FY19). The budget also includes $250,000 for the Historic Homeowner Grant Program, which will help low- and moderate-income households living in specific historic districts renovate and maintain their homes. Grants of up to $25,000 will be made available, except in the Anacostia Historic District where the maximum is $35,000.
Additionally, in FY20, Schedule H is expanding (by both expanding the income eligibility as well as the income ceiling for seniors), and the maximum credit will now be $1,200.
Families and Seniors
To keep DC affordable for families and seniors across the income spectrum, the FY20 budget invests in programs that support residents at every stage of life. Starting October 1, 2019, one year after the sales tax on menstrual hygiene products was eliminated, the sales tax on diapers sold in DC will also be eliminated. Additionally, the budget includes $1.3 million to make the “Keeping Childcare Affordable” tax credit permanent for households with taxable income under $150,000.
To support seniors across all eight wards, the FY20 budget includes $2 million to increase funding for Safe at Home, enabling more seniors to age in place, and $500,000 to provide grants for dental services for seniors.
Jobs and Opportunity
The FY20 budget continues to invest in programs and opportunities to ensure more Washingtonians can participate in DC’s prosperity. The FY20 budget includes a number of investments to support small and local businesses and local entrepreneurs, including:
- $250,000 for the Aspire to Entrepreneurship Program which supports justice-involved residents in opening, owning, and operating their own businesses;
- $350,000 for the Dream Grants Program which provides business development support for microbusinesses in Wards 7 and 8;
- $3.3 million for the Main Streets Program which promotes the revitalization of traditional business districts throughout all eight wards; ?
- $3 million for the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund which supports mixed-used, real estate, or retail development projects in targeted census tracts where unemployment is at 10 percent or higher; and ?
- $5.5 million for the Great Streets Program which provides competitive grants to small business owners looking to improve their place of business.
Building on Mayor Bowser’s previous investments in child care, the FY20 budget includes $52 million to expand child care and early childhood education opportunities at Old Randle Highlands, Old Miner, and Thurgood Marshall.
The Mayor’s education investments also include a $70.1 million increase in funding for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools, including a three percent increase to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula. The FY20 budget also includes $4.6 million to provide a laptop or device for every student in grades 3, 6, and 9 – an initiative that is rolling out throughout the school year. Additionally, the budget includes $1.6 million to establish Connected Schools to serve as neighborhood hubs by providing wraparound services for students, families, and community members.
Transportation and Infrastructure
Last year’s FY19 budget was the first to include the District’s $178.5 million Metro contribution. To support the expansion of safe, sustainable, and reliable transportation options, the FY20 budget includes:
- $4.7 million for hiring a new bike lane parking enforcement team, creating more pick-up and drop off zones, hosting open streets events and other improvements as part of Vision Zero;
- $241 million for improved streetscapes, tree planting and urban forestry, including $35 million to fix “Dave Thomas Circle”; and
- $241.4 million for local streets paving and maintenance.
The FY20 budget recognizes that building a safer, stronger, and more just DC means being effective at both policing and healing. This budget prioritizes violence prevention, supports our first responders, and invests in connecting residents to the right care at the right time. FY20 public safety investments include:
- $3.5 million to fund four additional basic ambulances, along with 45 positions to staff these units;
- $2 million increase in support for violence intervention and prevention programs at the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement;
- $1.7 million for place-based, trauma-informed care sites that will provide residents impacted by violence with the support and services necessary to heal individually and collectively;
- investments to support increasing MPD’s police force to 4,000 officers by 2021; and
- $4.25 million in capital improvement funds to renovate and modernize the District’s Emergency Operations Center.
The FY20 budget builds on the Mayor’s leadership to ensure all DC residents have a fair shot by making continued investments in the solutions we know work to end homelessness, support at-risk youth, and improve program delivery. In alignment with the Administration’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, Homeward DC, the budget provides more than $48 million in operating funds to increase supportive housing and other supports needed to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness transition back to stability. These new investments will build on funding over the past four years which totaled more than $170 million.
The FY20 budget also contains over $91 million for new and upgraded emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing facilities, including:
- $16 million to complete emergency shelter facilities under construction in Wards 1 and 3
- $10.7 million to complete the rehabilitation of the NY Avenue Men’s Shelter; and
- $4.1 million for critical upgrades to other low-barrier shelters.
The FY20 budget continues to promote and defend DC values with:
- $2.5 million to ensure every resident is counted in the 2020 Census; and
- $2.5 million (a $1.6 million increase over FY19 funding) for the Immigrant Justice Legal Services Grant which offers legal services and resources to immigrant residents and their family members.