After months of advocacy work – including budget hearings, Council visits, and the 6th Annual Tenant Town Hall – the DC Council voted in May to dedicate $83 million to the Housing Production Trust Fund, more than $2 million for the Small Business Technical Assistance Program, and maintain level funding for the Home Purchase Assistance Program.
The investments will help more tenants purchase their apartment buildings, more aspiring and established business owners to start or expand their small businesses, and preserve an affordable path to homeownership for first-time homebuyers.
DC residents, in collaboration with LEDC and the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, advocated for the DC Council to support key parts of Mayor Gray’s proposed budget, including a significant $100 million commitment to affordable housing.
Small business owner Andrew Lee Booze testified about how the Small Business Technical Assistance Program helped him to access a $7,000 LEDC business loan and hire five employees.
“As a small business owner, I know well the challenges and barriers that are in place to hinder the chances and opportunities to acquire financing – especially in the start-up phase,” Booze said.
Angela Adrar, a new first-time homebuyer in Ward 5, shared how LEDC’s housing counseling and the HPAP program helped her – a single mother of two young children – buy an affordable home.
“[HPAP] is essential especially with the market bouncing back and getting more expensive,” Adrar said. “Please restore $1 million to the HPAP program.”
At the 6th Annual Tenant Town Hall, 250 DC residents sent a strong message to the DC Council in support of affordable housing programs four days before the May vote.
Tracy Trang La, tenant leader of the 1445 Spring Road Tenant Association, asked the Council to help her and her neighbors buy their apartment building in Ward 4 using the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act.
“Just like my building, there are around 150 other apartment buildings that are currently for sale, with over 5,000 families and individuals who have the opportunity to buy their homes,” Trang La said. “That’s why we’re here today representing 1445 Spring Rd NW to ask the City Council and the Department of Housing and Community Development to make sure there is enough money in the Housing Production Trust Fund to support tenant purchase.”