WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser has had a focus on affordable housing since she was elected to office in 2015. Part of that focus is a goal to bring 36,000 new homes to the District by 2025, a portion of which will be affordable housing.
On Monday, May 24, the mayor announced that her new budget, to be presented before D.C. Council on May 27, will include a $400,000,000 investment for the Housing Production Trust Fund.
Each year, the mayor has invested $100,000,000 into the H.P.T.F., which has led to over 10,000 new homes in six years.
Mayor Bowser said, “We will be able to invest $400,000,000 dollars in the Housing Projection Trust Fund, and that will bring our total investment since 2015, when you’ve given me the honor of being your mayor, to $1,000,000,000 in the H.P.T.F.”
The extra funds will propel the District forward in the race for 36,000 new homes and provide affordable housing in each ward in the District.
Polly Donaldson, the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, said, “There are eight projects with $90,000,000 in H.P.T.F. that are stuck, because we did not have the resources to make that forward commitment.”
The money will not only help complete projects in motion, but it will lead to new projects that will ensure affordable housing, housing for seniors, and housing to own and rent for mixed-income levels.
John Falcicchio, deputy mayor for Planning and Economic Development, said, “One of my pleases is to the Council, to make sure this gets through.”
The Council will begin the budget hearing process on Thursday, May 27, and will have the final say in this $400,000,000 investment. Three Councilmembers were present at the announcement, and all offered support for the funds.
Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George said, “This is how you do it. This is how it’s done.”
Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau added, “We need it all around the District of Columbia. It’s not an either/or, it’s an all of the above, and that’s what we are doing together as a government and that’s what we need to keep doing.”
Finally, At-large Councilmember Anita Bonds said, “The goal of our government is to make sure that we have opportunities for those that I sometimes would say are the kind of forgotten.”
Reaching the Mayor’s goal of new homes will also keep rent prices lower, according to a study from Howard University and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
Deputy Mayor Falcicchio explained, “Rents, again would be five point five percent lower because of this work, so when we think about the housing production we have to do, it’s not just for the people who will live here in Spring Flats (or any other housing project), it’s for all of our residents in all eight wards.”