Housing Committee Budget Update

Today the Housing Committee voted unanimously to pass our revised budget out of the committee. I’m proud to share what we accomplished with you, below. Thank you to everyone who testified in front of the committee and made your budget priorities heard! As you’ll remember, this budget year looked bleak — with the mayor proposing deep cuts to programs for affordable housing and vital human services, pandemic funding drying up, and millions of dollars needed to fill gaps in WMATA’s budget.

Working diligently, the Housing Committee made significant changes to the mayor’s proposed budget to better reflect our values: that housing and human services are integral to protecting DC residents from crime, violence, family instability, and displacement. We shifted the budget from a place of despair to one that prioritizes our residents and works to solve root problems, rather than kicking the can down the road. Working within a tight budget, my committee team made difficult decisions and worked to fill gaps. We also went to other committees and asked them to direct any of their excess dollars to fund crucial programs that the mayor had slashed.

I’ll share below the highlights of what my team and I accomplished in this budget. The work does not end here. I will continue to work with my Council colleagues to fill gaps in the housing and human services budget, and I’ll continue fighting to ensure taxpayer dollars are used efficiently and effectively. I will continue updating you on the budget process, including the first full council vote on the full fiscal year 2025 budget, scheduled for early June.

A Commitment to Solving Problems:
Highlights from the Housing Committee Budget

Preventing Homelessness 

  • Protects low- and moderate-income tenants facing eviction with a nearly $6.7 million boost to what the mayor proposed for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), while improving transparency and advancing reform to the program. 
  • Increases funding to support survivors of domestic violence.  
  • Sends $1.8 million in increased funding to homelessness prevention services to help people who are at risk of homelessness stay housed.  
  • Funds 66 housing vouchers in the amount of $1.9 million to provide some relief for families the administration is throwing into instability by exiting them from the Rapid Rehousing program.  

Restoring and Promoting Housing Stability 

  • Invests in a transformative renewal of DC’s largest homeless shelter, the Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV), and requires robust planning for the redevelopment.
  • Funds vouchers for 43 residents who need more intensive support to move into permanent supportive housing (PSH) through a $1.2 million investment.  
  • Prioritizes increasing homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers by providing $2 million for the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP).
  • Improves the efficiency and transparency of the Home Purchase Assistance Program by requiring the Department of Housing and Community Development to publish a dashboard of available funding and to plan for a centralized document collection system for buyers and sellers.
  • Mandates recovery assistance for River East at Grandview homeowners who lost their DC-financed homes due to faulty construction.
  • Provides $606,050 in funding to the Department of Human Services to secure 23 Targeted Affordable Housing vouchers.  
  • Boosts the Street Outreach program with $2 million to help unhoused residents find housing, services, and healthcare. 
  • Helps senior community members stay in their homes with enhancements to the shallow subsidy for seniors making 60% or less of the Area Median Income but not receiving other housing assistance. 
  • Secures housing vouchers for 20 LGBTQIA+ residents designated by the Office of LGBTQ Affairs.  

Preserving Affordable Housing 

  • Safeguards affordable housing and promotes sustainable communities by investing $2.5 million in the Housing Preservation Fund.
  • Supports homeownership and prevents foreclosure with a $2.5 million enhancement in Housing Counseling.
  • Helps deliver better living conditions for public housing residents by dedicating additional maintenance and repair funding.  

Protecting Tenants 

  • Supports vital moving and storage services to displaced tenants by restoring funding to the Emergency Housing Assistance Program administered by the Office of the Tenant Advocate. 
  • Bolsters legal support for District tenants by providing funding for a litigation staff attorney at the Office of the Tenant Advocate.  
  • Empowers District tenants by restoring funding for the annual Office of the Tenant Advocate Tenant Summit, which brings together tenants, tenant associations, housing attorneys and advocates, policy experts, community leaders, and District leadership to talk about housing challenges and solutions. 

Making DC Government Work for Residents  

  • Promotes faster, more reliable customer service for public housing residents and people using vouchers through additional customer engagement staffing at the DC Housing Authority.  
  • Strengthens tenant support services by providing funding to improve communication and technical supports at the Office of the Tenant Advocate
  • Ensures more robust support for limited equity cooperative residents by funding staff to support an advisory council at the Department of Housing and Community Development, including drafting and publishing the advisory council’s required preliminary and annual reports.   
  • Improves Advisory Neighborhood Commissions’ (ANC) ability to communicate with and deliver results for their constituents by funding zoom subscriptions for hybrid meetings, new ANC websites, and an eblast delivery system.

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