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The budget rundowns continue! This time with housing stuff and economic development stuff.
Councilmember Michael Brown‘s Housing and Workforce Development committee was the target of lobbying from affordable housing advocates over the yanking of $18 million from the Housing Production Trust Fund, and other issues. The report, which passed unanimously today, does the following things:
- Recommends the creation of a three-person office of the Housing Provider Advocate in the Department of Housing and Community Development to serve as a resource for landlords. The committee couldn’t find funding for the position in last year’s budget, but hopes the executive will do so this time around.
- Takes the mayor to task for failing to adequately fund the Local Rent Supplement Program, which helps poor people pay rent, and “recommends increasing the subsidy to a level that will truly have a dramatic impact on the housing crisis in the District.”
- Includes language that would deposit the first $10 million of certified fiscal year 2012 revenue into the Housing Production Trust Fund.
- Directs the mayor to draft a Comprehensive Housing Strategy within 120 days of the passage of the budget, based on findings from a 2006 task force report.
Councilmember Harry Thomas‘ Committee on Economic Development report includes a few significant tweaks, including some goodies for Ward 5:
- Restores $1.9 million to fund the Main Streets programs, which the mayor’s budget had eliminated.
- For the axed Neighborhood Investment Fund, proposes that “one-time only funding to sustain the program through Fiscal Year 2012, after which time, sustainable revenue should be available to annualize the program.”
- Directs $200,000 to fund property tax exemptions for three entities in Ward 5: A church, an affordable housing complex, and the Capital City Diner.
- Creates a Small Business Investment Company pilot program that will start in Ward 5, and then expand to other wards.