GFCC Priorities – FY2019 Budget

Good Faith Mission: Good Faith Communities Coalition is an alliance of faith communities in the District of Columbia who advocate for sustainable and affordable housing and services for persons who are homeless and marginalized.  Good Faith’s overall goals are based on the belief that all our neighbors are children of God.
Though the District is not a right to housing city, safe, appropriate, affordable, sustainable housing for the poor and marginalized is a human right. The community enjoys the benefits of gentrification that continues to sweep across the city seemingly with minimal concern for its impact on the poor and marginalized. The community must see that the needs of those battered by market forces beyond their control are met to the greatest possible extent so that the city and community may be one.

Mayor’s Proposed FY 2019 Proposed Budget – Details: Read more.

Good Faith Priorities for FY 2019 Budget:

    • Chronic Homelessness among Adults and Homelessness among Populations Needing Special Care.
      INVESTMENT NECESSARY TO MAKE REAL PROGRESS in FY2019:  $25M for chronic homelessness; $10M for shelter replacement; $5.5M for domestic violence; $2.5M for unaccompanied youth shelters.

      –    The January 2017 Point in Time Count detailed the chronically homeless population in DC:  more than 7000 chronically homeless single adults, almost 900 unsheltered and living on the street. Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), rental assistance coupled with supportive services to help address mental and physical health challenges, has been proven to work. Targeted Affordable Housing (TAH) vouchers would help the homeless who need rental assistance, but minimal services. Both programs are substantially underfunded to meet the need.
      –   The city has 6 shelters with 2000 beds for chronically homeless single adults. Deteriorating conditions with minimal services don’t lead to hope or change, nor are they temporary for many. More case managers are needed to manage clients and help transitions to appropriate housing.
      –   The centralized Downtown Service Center is a critical need and must move beyond planning stage.
      –    Special populations require targeted housing and services: more than 700 homeless youth are served by only 300 shelter beds and individuals and families escaping domestic violence have an immediate need for 200 more slots for shelter and transitional housing.
  • Housing Vouchers for Families exiting Rapid ReHousing (RRH).
    INVESTMENT  NECESSARY TO MAKE REAL PROGRESS IN FY 2019:  $16M annually for 800 rental assistance vouchers for those currently in the one year RRH program and in family shelters.
    –    Approximately 75% of the 1300 families currently in RRH will not be able to assume the market rate rent for their apartments at the end of the one year program.  Without vouchers such as Targeted Affordable Housing they will have to move or be evicted, starting the cycle of homelessness again.
  • Preservation and construction of affordable housing for families with an Adjusted Median Income (AMI) of 0-30% through Housing Production Trust Fund investment in new housing and repair of public housing.
    INVESTMENT  NECESSARY TO MAKE REAL PROGRESS IN FY 2019: – $200M for HPTF and $25M for housing preservation. $5M for more housing inspectors. $40M for Public housing repair.  $12M for Emergency Rental Assistance.
    –    41K  District households seeking housing assistance are considered housing burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing. The typical low income household in the District often spends 70% of income on housing.
    –    The Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) for the past two years has invested more than $200 million in new and renovated housing. Given the efficiency of expenditure from the Fund, it is clear that additional funds could be handled for good advantage. However, building housing for those living in extreme poverty continues to be a challenge with the legal mandate of 40% investment of funds in this area seldom met. Those living in extreme poverty have the fewest housing options. Addressing their needs has to be a priority.
    –    The city can’t build its way out of the housing crisis.  Preservation as well as initiatives such as Inclusionary Zoning, Tenants Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) and emergency rental assistance are critical to preserving and providing the maximum number of units.
    –    Public housing, often neglected, is an important component of the District housing stock for those living in extreme poverty, particularly seniors and the disabled. Repairs and maintenance with followup inspection  must be scheduled on a regular basis so rundown conditions and neighborhood deterioration don’t occur.