It is time to cement the legacy of the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). The housing crisis in DC has been well documented, and the issue is not going away anytime soon. The HPTF is the most powerful tool that the District has to address this crisis. It is time for the District to solidify funding for the HPTF so that we can move forward. Let us all encourage the passing of the Housing Production Trust Fund Guarantee Funding Amendment Act of 2017!
Right now, the HPTF gets most of its money from yearly budget allocations. For the past four years, the Mayor and the Council have gotten together on putting $100 million in the fund.
This investment is historic. However, it’s vulnerable to changing political will–the $100 million needs to be re-debated each and every year. What’s more, it still doesn’t meet the need that exists in DC!
That’s why this bill, introduced by Councilmember Anita Bonds (At-Large), would guarantee the HPTF’s budget at $120 million each year.
Did you know that the HPTF has been in existence since 1988? It didn’t receive significant investment until sixteen years after, in 2004 ($50 million), and didn’t have a fund balance of more than $100 million until 2013/14.
Did you know that $100 million is enough to build or preserve approximately 1,000 units?
Did you know the shortage of affordable units is in the tens of thousands? In December of last year, DC Fiscal Policy Institute reported that “26,000 extremely low-income DC households spend more than half their income on rent,” and that “only 2,100 received new help over the past six years.”
Did you know that in DC, people of color were doing economically worse in 2016 (most recent census data) than the year prior?
While there are criticisms of the HPTF, and whether it addresses those most in need, most critics and advocates agree that the fund is necessary and that it can be strengthened. Stabilizing the revenue source and guaranteeing its future can shift the focus towards managing it more effectively as we diversify our efforts.
There will be a public hearing on two bills related to the HPTF on Thursday, October 19th at 11:00 AM in the Wilson building, room 500. You can testify as an individual or as an organization, and if you cannot be there then you can send in written testimony to the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 112, Washington, D.C. 20004. The record will close at 5:00 p.m. on November 2, 2017
We’ll be at the hearing, and we hope you will too!