DC revenues continue to grow – sustainable?

DC tax collections are rising sharply according to the September revenue forecast: an additional $180 million for the fiscal year that just ended and an additional $36 million for the current fiscal year (FY 2017). Certainly this is good news for the District as it enjoys the benefits of gentrification and charts a course to assist those residents who have benefited less from the new prosperity that favors the college educated.  For example, about 18% of residents with a high school diploma are unemployed, compared with 10% in 2007 before the start of the recession.

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Juggernaut

At this juncture with a new federal administration in January, the future of gentrification and the benefits it might bring to the city coffers is in question.  Will those residents with their youthful progressive profile who fueled the gentrification continue to live in the city or will they drift away to other energetic, progressive locations, not as close to the federal presence?  Will new residents with similar interests fill their places and continue the profile of the city as a progressive, fun place to live?

With this real uncertainty, the Mayor and the Council must focus on the most critical safety net programs that require funding – and fully resource them in the next fiscal year so that a more limited future does not further cripple those least able to cope: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, rehabilitation of public housing, shelter system for the chronically homeless. Deluding ourselves with such statements as “the District has a track record of pursuing its own path” are feel good approaches, but not realistic if there is no growth funding.  The city should at least consider NOW that decreased funding in the near future is a possibility and must be factored into the critical safety net planning and resourcing. 
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Shelter Census, October 20, 2016: 819 families with 1711 children resided in shelter or transitional housing on this date.  1064 single men and women also resided in shelters.

New hypothermia hotline:  202-399-7093 OR 311.

Mothers receiving TANF benefits (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) describe their journey to independence.
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                                                                    IN THE NEWS

Ward 3 Short Term Family Housing – updates.
Homeward DC, 2015-2020. Inter-agency Council on Homelessness Strategic Plan, 2015-2020.  Read Executive Summary.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 2016 Point in Time survey of regional homelessness.
  Read report.
Newsletter current and previous.
Biblical Roots of Justice – Foundation of the Journey for Justice:  an interfaith conversation on homelessness and the Journey for Justice for our neighbors who are without homes (10 minutes)