Dear Smart Growth Supporters,
Street festival hosted by Capitol Manor Cooperative in the U Street Corridor - buildings purchased and renovated by tenants with Housing Production Trust Fund money.
Affordable housing in D.C. is in danger.
We all know that housing at different affordability levels is essential to creating a thriving, vibrant city. But the D.C. 2012 budget proposes severe cuts to affordable housing, especially to the Housing Production Trust Fund. This Trust Fund is supposed to have dedicated funding. It’s also the main source of financing for new construction of affordable homes and helps lower income residents stay in the city and participate in its continued revival. Dismantling the Trust Fund sets a terrible precedent as the real estate market strengthens and housing prices rise.
Email the D.C. Council and Support a Fair Approach for Residents
Instead of slashing the Housing Production Trust Fund and other critical services, we need to strike a balance with reasonable revenue increases. Mayor Gray has proposed a modest income tax on high-earning households, and there are other revenue measures on the table. Tell Council Chairman Kwame Brown and the D.C. Council that you support Mayor Gray’s effort for reasonable increased revenues as part of the solution to restoring funds to affordable housing programs.
Budget Would Raid the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
The FY2012 budget makes significant cuts to funding for affordable housing, which would negatively impact workers seeking affordable housing near their jobs and transit, while cutting off tenants working to buy and renovate their buildings.
Due to the emerging recovery of the real estate market, the Trust Fund is expected to increase by $18 million this year through its dedicated funding. The Mayor’s budget proposal would divert the increase in funds to another housing program – Local Rent Supplement. That might sound okay, but from there the budget would eliminate the local funding source for this program and shrink it over time. Altogether, these changes will severely limit the ability for any new residents to access affordable housing in the District.
Sharing the Prosperity
D.C. has grown by 5% over the last ten years, and there’s plenty of room for more residents, but rising demand to live in the city means higher housing prices. At the same time, the recession hit D.C.’s low income families the hardest and created a greater need for affordable housing. We can’t put off building a future supply of affordable housing in the District by underfunding the Housing Production Trust Fund – too many D.C. families are losing their foothold in the city.
Again, please email Council Chairman Kwame Brown and the D.C. Council and ask them to support a budget that includes reasonable revenue increases – not just cuts – and restores funding to the Housing Production Trust Fund. Doing so will help ensure that the city shares its growing prosperity with its moderate and low income residents.
If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at this resource paper (PDF) from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. Thank you for your support.
For Smarter Growth
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