Possible federal funding cuts to public housing will impact DC

HOUSING | The DC Housing Authority relies on federal funds to make significant renovations to its buildings, including replacing roofs and other repairs. In a recently released preliminary budget for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, these funds may be in jeopardy. (WCP, 3/14)

Affordable housing advocates worry that the possible rollbacks could have far-reaching impacts on District residents. Not only would the $10 million cut in HUD capital funds restrict DCHA’s ability to commission repairs, they explain, but it would also curb the housing authority’s means of paying off old debt—much of it from capital repairs made a decade ago. Because these funds cover a big share of such debt payments, advocates say DCHA would have to redirect money from other areas to avoid defaulting on its debt.

The agency hasn’t gotten there yet, though it’s quick to point out how dire the status quo already is. “We’ve seen and heard reports speculating about the impending HUD budget reduction,” a DCHA spokesman says in a statement. “Clearly any continued cuts to the public housing program would be extraordinarily challenging as evidenced by our current funding situation and the impact of sequestration.”

NONPROFITS/EVENT | Bethany Rubin Henderson, executive director of DC Scores, shares her experience at WRAG’s Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Two-Day Workshop and advises this year’s attendees on how to get the most out of the experience. (Daily, 3/15)

Related: Learn how to strengthen relationships with existing corporate funders and attract the attention of future corporate partners at WRAG’s Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Two-Day Workshop. Register here

HEALTH | Here’s how a successful community-led campaign in Maryland reduced the sales of soda and fruit drinks without creating a soda tax. (NPR, 3/13)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | A number of Virginia arts organizations that receive funds from the National Endowment for the Arts worry about possible cuts to the program. (WAMU, 3/14)

– The University of Maryland has created more resources to help its undocumented students, including assigning staff to help coordinate the services students might need and forming a working group to focus on undocumented students. (WaPo, 3/15)

– Georgetown University, University of Maryland offer tuition breaks for federal workers (WBJ, 3/15)

ENVIRONMENT | DC may be the first US city to create a green bank, which will be an independent agency that offers funds for energy improvements for individuals and companies. The administration hopes it will boost the use of clean energy technology in DC. (WBJ, 3/14)

A creepier, but still accurate Alexa…

– Kendra