Ever since Mayor Vince Gray announced that he was making a new $100 million investment in affordable housing, everyone’s been weighing in on how he should spend that money. Now, with the release of his budget proposal this morning, we finally know how he intends to allocate it.
Here’s the breakdown:
- $66.9 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund
- $1 million for the Rapid Re-Housing Program, under the Homeless Services Program
- $1 million for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, under the Homeless Services Program
- $1 million for an adjustment to the Home Purchase Assistance Program
- $20 million to restore local funding for the Local Rent Supplement Program, in place of HPTF funding
- $3 million to fund additional project and sponsor-based units that will meet the needs of Department of Human Services referrals
Which comes out to a grand total of $92.9 million. I’m awaiting word from the mayor’s office on the remaining $7.1 million.
But one thing is clear: The budget responds resoundingly to the demands of affordable housing advocates, who have pushed hard for a boost to the HPTF, the District’s main tool for creating and preserving affordable housing. Advocates have also urged the administration to stop diverting money form the HPTF to pay for the Local Rent Supplement Program, and again, this budget meets those demands by restoring local funding.
Of course, a single year of extra funding for affordable housing isn’t enough, and the mayor’s $100 million will pack its full punch only if it’s renewed in future years. But for the time being, at least, affordable housing advocates have something to cheer.
Update: Looks like Gray might be spreading the $100 million out over two fiscal years. Will update as I learn more.