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Bowser Adds $400M To D.C.'s Affordable Housing Fund Over 2 Years

Mayor Muriel Bowser speaking at the New Year New Housing event Jan. 17., 2020

Washington, D.C.'s main fund for subsidizing affordable housing will get a significant boost over the next two years, allowing hundreds of new units to be developed. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that the city is making a $400M investment to the Housing Production Trust Fund between this year and next year. 

The mayor said she is adding $150M into the fund in her supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2021, and she is dedicating another $250M in her proposed budget for FY 2022.

She said these investments will deliver 2,700 units of affordable housing over the next two to three years, with up to 1,000 of those "deeply" affordable, at rents designed for tenants making up to 30% of the area median income. 

The HPTF, launched in 2015, has typically received $100M annually. Bowser had proposed a $16M cut to the fund in May 2020 as the pandemic was hurting the city's revenues, but D.C. ended last year in much better shape than it projected. D.C.'s chief financial officer in February announced the District ended the 2020 fiscal year with a $526M budget surplus, driven by federal assistance and higher-than-expected revenues. 

The mayor is also dedicating funding for the Local Rent Supplement Program, which provides subsidized vouchers for tenants at 30% AMI or below. The mayor in 2019 set a goal for the city to build 36,000 new units, including 12,000 affordable units, by 2025. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how fragile our housing ecosystem is and how much our residents depend on us to add more safe and stable affordable housing,” Bowser said in a release. “With today’s announcement, we are doubling down on six years of work to preserve and create affordable housing and expediting progress toward our 12,000 affordable housing unit goal."

Along with the increased funding levels, Bowser's administration also announced eight new projects that will receive a total of $92.4M from the HPTF. These projects will produce 462 affordable units and preserve another 175 affordable units. 

The largest of the eight projects is The Flats at South Capitol, a development from Kaye Stern Properties to build 106 new affordable units in Ward 8. The new developments also include a 70-unit project from Wesley Housing Development Corp. on Hawaii Avenue NE in Ward 5, a 49-unit project from Neighborhood Development Co. at 3450 Eads St. NE in Ward 7, an 86-unit project from Durrani Development Corp. on Alabama Avenue in Ward 8 and a 76-unit project from Manna Inc. in Ward 7. 

The preservation projects include two properties in Ward 8 and one in Ward 4, with NHP Foundation, Winn Development and Mi Casa as the housing providers. 

“We can immediately tap all of the previously unfunded projects to produce or preserve affordable housing and begin to make room for more,” Department of Housing and Community Development Director Polly Donaldson said.