Councilmembers Call on Mayor to Restore Housing Counseling Funding
Nadeau, joined by colleagues, calls for reinstatement of drastic cuts
WASHINGTON – Today, Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau called on Mayor Bowser to restore funding cuts to housing counseling providers, a critical resource for residents seeking affordable housing. The letter suggests a possible source of funding: a surplus in dedicated tax revenue to the Housing Production Trust Fund.
Housing counseling providers are a vital link that connect residents with District housing programs. At least one organization is already making staff cuts to account for the reduction.
The letter is signed by Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau, Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmember Anita Bonds, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, and Councilmember Robert C. White, Jr.
The full text of the letter is below:
October 4, 2018
Mayor Muriel Bowser
Executive Office of the Mayor
John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Mayor Bowser,
It has come to our attention that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced across-the-board cuts that would result in the reduction of funding for housing counseling providers. This funding allows community-based organizations to provide important services such as hosting training sessions for Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) renter and homeownership programs, and assistance with applying for DHCD-funded home purchase programs like the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). Community-based organizations have told us that these cuts are drastic and will reduce entrants for these programs. One organization is already making staff cuts to account for the reduction.
It appears that the funding cut is in DHCD’s “Neighborhood-Based Activities” program and totals $3.4 million. We urge you to restore this amount through reprogramming. One possible source could be the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). The District budgeted a total of $99.2 million in the HPTF in Fiscal Year 2018. Of that amount, $50.8 million was to be funded with dedicated tax revenue. We learned that, to date, $56.0 million of dedicated tax revenue has been deposited in the HPTF. This means in the FY2018 HPTF dedicated tax revenues will be $5.1 million more than anticipated.
We urge you to reprogram $3.4 million back to DHCD’s “Neighborhood-Based Activities” fund. Community-based organizations that provide housing counseling services are essential to the District’s mission of making affordable housing accessible to all who need it. We look forward to working with you to restore the funding for these programs back to where they should be.
Brianne K. Nadeau
Councilmember, Ward 1
Anita D. Bonds
Robert C. White, Jr.
CC: Polly Donaldson, Director, Department of Housing and Community Development