The Housing For All Campaign of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) of Washington, DC, an NLIHC State Coalition Partner, is celebrating passage of the City Council’s FY16 budget that includes major investments in housing programs, including the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). The budget, approved on May 27, provides $100 million for the HPTF.
Established in 1988, the HPTF provides grants and loans for the development of rental and homeownership units. Forty percent of all HPTF funds must benefit extremely low income households (income less than 30% AMI), another 40% must benefit very low income households (31% to 50% AMI), with the remaining 20% able to assist households with income between 51% and 80% of AMI.
For several years, CNHED’s Housing for All Campaign has focused on the goal of obtaining at least $100 million in annual funding for the HPTF. In working toward this goal, the Housing for All Campaign achieved several important milestones. Following significant cuts to the HPTF during the Great Recession, the campaign succeeded in securing a commitment of $79.3 million for the HPTF in FY15 and passing the Budget Support Act (see Memo 07/04/14). The Budget Support Act commits 50% of DC’s year-end unrestricted surpluses, minus required reserves, to the HPTF. This funding is in addition to the standard 15% commitment to the HPTF from the Deed Transfer and Recordation Tax.
At the end of 2014, the Housing For All Campaign worked with Councilmember, now Mayor, Muriel Bowser to introduce Bill 20-708, the Housing Production Trust Fund Baseline Funding Amendment Act of 2014 (see Memo 12/22/14). The act has served to put Mayor Bowser and DC council members on record supporting a $100 million annual appropriation for the HPTF during the FY16 budget process. The Housing For All Campaign held a lobby day and gathered more than 100 organizational signatures for a sign-on letter, helping to convince the DC Council to provide the $100 million.
The Housing for All Campaign achieved other important victories for housing in the FY16 budget. Permanent Supportive Housing received an $8.8 million increase over FY15. The Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP), which is modeled on the federal Section 8 program, also received a significant funding increase. LRSP has two components, tenant-based vouchers, and project- or sponsor-based vouchers that subsidize affordable housing developers and providers. LRSP tenant-based vouchers received a $9 million increase over FY15 for an FY16 appropriation of $46 million. Within funding for tenant-based vouchers, $2.3 million will go to Targeted Affordable Housing (TAH), which serves individuals and families who continue to need housing assistance after exiting permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing programs. TAH is an important component of DC’s strategic plan to end long-term homelessness by 2020. Project- and sponsor-based vouchers received an appropriation of $2.4 million, which will be used ensure that the HPTF meets its 40% requirement for serving ELI households.
Following these victories, CNHED’s executive director Stephen Glaude stated, “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.”
For more information, contact Elizabeth Falcon, Housing Advocacy Director, Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development, firstname.lastname@example.org