Action Center
DC Budget includes historic investments in housing to end chronic homelessness
May 19, 2016 by Jesse Rabinowitz

GREAT NEWS: Thanks to your advocacy, persistence, phone calls and passion, our elected officials heard loud and clear that ending chronic homelessness is a priority. Yesterday, the DC Council voted on an historic budget that includes unprecedented investments in ending chronic homelessness. To date, this is the most funding ever allocated for housing the most vulnerable DC residents in one fiscal year.  

 

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Together, these investments will impact over 916 individuals who have experienced homelessness.

 

Historic investments in housing to end chronic homelessness

Despite a tight fiscal climate, the budget includes funding that will house over 919 individuals who have experienced chronic homeless and housing instability. Specifically, the budget allocates:

  • $6.8 million in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to serve 425 individuals

Research and experience show that Permanent Supportive Housing successfully helps individuals and families exit chronic homelessness. Stanley, a client of Pathways to Housing, entered homelessness five years ago, after the loss of his grandmother. Thanks to the investments made in PSH, Stanley now has a safe place to call home, and is thriving with the supportive services he receives.

  • $1.7 million in Targeted Affordable Housing (TAH) to serve 141 individuals

Targeted Affordable Housing is permanent affordable housing designed to meet the needs of individuals who are experiencing chronic homelessness, but either no longer need the services offered by PSH or need longer term assistance than short-term housing programs.

  • $3.9 million to help just over 200 families through Targeted Affordable Housing

This year’s budget includes $3.9 million for Targeted Affordable Housing for DC families. On a given night, there are around 42 families experiencing chronic homelessness in the District. These investments will work to ensure that families do not experience homelessness for years.

  • Maintains last year’s funding for Rapid Re-Housing to serve 350 individuals and 284 families

While the DC Council did not include new funding for Rapid-Rehousing for singles or families, funding from the previous year is maintained. While it is not new money, these resources will provide RRH for 350 new individuals and 284 new families over the next year.

Additional resources

In addition, the DC budget includes:

  • $100 million invested in the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF)

The Housing Production Trust Fund is a key tool for preserving and developing affordable housing in the District, including the production of PSH units. The lack of affordable housing is a major cause of homelessness, and these investments help ensure that there is enough affordable housing to meet the need of all District residents, including those experiencing homelessness.

  • $500,000 towards SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR)

This program helps connect vulnerable individuals with needed income support services, which is a key goal in Homeward DC, the District’s plan to end homelessness.

  • $15 million to make repairs to DC’s public housing stock to improve conditions and bring units back online.

Plan to close DC General family shelter

The DC Council also approved an amended version of the Mayor’s plan to close the DC General Family Shelter and replace it with 7 smaller shelters across DC’s wards.  While significant investments in housing are still needed for both families and individuals, this plan is an important step forward. The plan has the potential to drastically improve living conditions and service access for families staying in DC shelters.

What’s next?

  • The DC Council will vote two more times on the budget before it becomes official. Stay tuned for the final word!
  • There’s a lot to celebrate. Once the budget has passed, we’ll be organizing a celebration to thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure that our policymakers are prioritizing an end to chronic homelessness in DC.
  • Despite tremendous investments, DC is still not on track to end chronic homelessness by 2017. That’s why our work doesn’t stop with the budget process. We’ll be calling on you soon to thank the DC Council for their investments. In the meantime, please spread the word about The Way Home Campaign. Will you have 3 friends sign The Pledge to End Chronic Homelessness?
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