Housing Remarks on the First Reading of the FY 24 Budget
From Councilmember Nadeau’s remarks on the first reading of the FY24 budget:
“I think my first public comments on the Mayor’s budget back in March were about Emergency Rental Assistance, so I want to start my remarks there. Right now, I am proud to be a member of this Council, that I feel presented a united front to increase funding for ERAP by a substantial amount.
“As we saw just recently in the point-in-time count, there have been increases in residents and families experiencing homelessness across the board, after many years of significant progress. This budget’s funding for ERAP is going to be critical to catch more people before they enter that free fall into the cycle of homelessness.
“The Chairman’s addition of over 200 new permanent supportive housing vouchers will also help to fully lift individuals and families out of homelessness. This Council has funded new PSH vouchers every year for the past 6 years, and I’m proud we can continue that streak.
“I’m deeply concerned by the Mayor’s sudden increase in the use of the word “entitlement” as a negative term – when talking about programs like ERAP or Baby Bonds. To me, framing our social safety net as a pejorative does not reflect our DC values. This budget from Council does an incredible amount to restore cuts that would be harmful to DC residents, especially those most in need.”