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Residents have opportunity to respond to District housing revitalization plans June 27

On July 14, 2016

The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has released draft plans on how it intends to use federal resources for housing-related activities and neighborhood revitalization in the coming years. DHCD will seek public input during a July 27 hearing. 

The draft plans released by DHCD will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development when finalized. Included in the plans are: 

  1. The 2015-2020 Consolidated Plan, which is updated every five years and analyzes government policies, functions, and data so that the District can make affordable housing and economic investment decisions. 
  2. The annual Action Plan, which specifies one-year planned use of grant funds that are tied back to the priorities and goals in the Consolidated Plan. 
  3. The National Housing Trust Fund Allocation Plan, which specifies allocation priorities and guidelines for use from the National Housing Trust Fund. 

The three documents serve as the District of Columbia’s strategic plan and application for over $280 million in federal resources the District anticipates receiving between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2021. 

Those resources are: 

  • The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is the District’s most flexible funding resource and can be used for both housing and non-housing activities, including those that revitalize neighborhoods, promote economic development, and improve community facilities, infrastructure and services in low-moderate income communities. 
  • The HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program supports building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent, homeownership, or provides direct rental assistance to low-income residents. 
  • The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program provides funding for programs and service supporting homeless individuals and families. 
  • The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program makes grants to the District and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. 
  • The National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) supports the production, preservation, rehabilitation, and operation of housing affordable to extremely low-income households earning less than 30 percent of the area median income. 

“An important component of how the District produces and preserves affordable housing is not just the availability of local funds, such as the Housing Production Trust Fund, but also access to federal funding,” said Polly Donaldson, director of the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development. “In developing the strategies found in the draft plans, we’ve engaged in substantial consultations and input from the public. As the plans now work their way to completion, we want to provide another opportunity for the public to participate in the process.” 

The public can receive information on the plans and offer comments during an open forum and hearing on Wednesday, July 27 at 815 Florida Avenue NW. The open forum begins at 5 p.m. and the public hearing will start at 6:30 p.m. 

The draft version of each plan available on DHCD’s homepage at http://dhcd.dc.gov and is available for review at DHCD headquarters, office at 1800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20020 in the Housing Resource Center. 

This week, the Mayor’s Housing Preservation Strike Force unveiled six recommendations on how the District can preserve its existing affordable housing covenants set to expire by 2020. 

Earlier this year, the Mayor announced nearly $90 million in affordable housing opportunities that will provide more than 800 affordable housing units for an estimated 1,760 D.C. residents. These units are being funded by the HPTF, part of the historic $100 million commitment the mayor has made in her budget each year. Not only is this commitment historic for the District, it is unprecedented among U.S. cities. 

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