Action Center
Statement on Mayor Bowser's FY 21 Budget
May 21, 2020 by Jesse Rabinowitz

On Monday, Mayor Bowser released her proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021. Thanks to your strong advocacy and the advocacy of our 102 partner organizations and over 6,000 supporters, the Mayor's budget will end chronic homelessness for 150 households.  While we work to better understand the full scope of Mayor Bowser's proposed budget and its impacts on our overall goal to end chronic homelessness, we wanted to share some quick takeaways and next steps. 

Mayor's budget ends homelessness for 150 households

Specifically, the Mayor's budget includes new funding for:

  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for 96 individuals
  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for 54 families

While a step in the right direction, especially given the financial constraints caused by COVID-19, this amount represents just 7% of The Way Home Campaign's budget recommendation. In the face of a pandemic that continues to prove that housing is healthcare, the Mayor's budget does not go far enough to address DC's urgent housing needs.

The Mayor's budget proposal also cuts funding to homeless street outreach and homelessness prevention, two programs that are especially vital in the context of COVID-19.  

Without bold investments from the DC Council, 1,650 households will likely continue to experience chronic homelessness in DC. And, with new reports projecting significant increases in homelessness due to COVID-19, cuts to life-saving services are especially concerning.

The DC Council must make bold investments that put people first

This pandemic reminds us that we cannot thrive collectively until all our neighbors have access to safe and affordable housing. To date, 15 people experiencing homelessness have died from COVID-19. Despite a tough economic outlook, The Way Home Campaign is calling on the DC Council to fill the gaps left in the Mayor's Budget by investing $66 million to end chronic homelessness for an additional 1,650 of our neighbors, fund homeless street outreach, and invest in homelessness prevention. This budget season provides the DC Council with a chance to turn their commitment to equity into action by ensuring that all DC residents pay their fair share to end homelessness and fund other vital human needs

HOW YOU CAN HEP: Two ways to take action!

  1. Attend a virtual house meeting
    • Over the coming weeks, we are hosting virtual house meetings in every ward. If you want to come together with your neighbors to learn and take action to end homelessness, click here.  It is a vital time to both connect with and build power with your neighbors and make sure your ward Councilmember is listening to the community needs.
  2. Save the Date for our virtual "People's Roundtable to End Homelessness" to be held on the evening of June 22nd.

Stay tuned for additional details and next steps!

We're still digesting the Mayor's full budget and will release a deeper analysis of the Mayor's budget soon. Then, with your help, we'll urge the DC Council to protect the proposed funding and increase investments to ensure every one of our neighbors has the dignity and safety of a home.

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