(l to r) Martin Mellet, director, CDSC; David Bowers, co-chair, CDSC (Enterprise Community Partners); Oramenta Newsome, director, DC LISC
At a D.C. City Council hearing on Oct. 20, Washington Grantmakers (WG) testified in support of stabilizing funds for the production and preservation of affordable housing in the District. Martin Mellett, director of the Community Development Support Collaborative – a project of WG – testified from the perspective of philanthropy:
“If the Trust Fund is not increased and stabilized, nonprofit housing developers will not be able to secure adequate financing to complete projects in their current pipelines. Not only would affordable housing production and preservation decrease, the District of Columbia would lose the leverage of philanthropic dollars to nonprofit organizations.” [Click for full testimony]
The Housing Production Stabilization Amendment Act of 2008, authored by Councilmember Barry and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Graham, Brown, Cheh, Bowser, Alexander, and Thomas, will require the city to strengthen the Housing Production Trust Fund by establishing a base contribution of $100 million annually to be drawn from deed and recordation taxes. A number of nonprofit housing developers, including SOME and Mi Casa, testified to the critical role that the Trust Fund has played in recent years to support the development and preservation of affordable housing – especially in gentrifying neighborhoods.
Over 200 residents, nonprofit organizations, and other interested stakeholders attended the nine hour hearing.
For analysis released by the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, please click here.