Making a home buying assistance program work better for low-income DC residents

– D.C. officials are working to smooth the administrative kinks out of the Home Purchase Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance for low- and moderate-income residents to help increase their purchasing power in D.C.’s competitive housing market. Currently, processing delays can leave some potential home buyers in the lurch. (WAMU, 10/20):

Housing advocates and real estate experts say…that for as necessary and well-intentioned as the HPAP program is, it also suffers from persistent administrative hiccups that can delay closings, threatening financing arrangements and even derailing possible sales. In some cases, buyers who assumed they would close on a specific date have been left to scramble for temporary housing.

Battle Brews Over D.C.’s Rent-Control Laws (City Paper, 10/19)

Interactive Redlining Map Zooms In On America’s History Of Discrimination (NPR, 10/19)

– Yesterday, the United Way of the National Capital Area hosted a day-long event where homeless individuals could receive a “smorgasbord of services,” to quote UWNCA VP Timothy Johnson. (WaPo, 10/19)

– Congratulations to Rick Moyers, vice president of programs and communications at the Meyer Foundation, for being elected chair of the BoardSource board of directors!

EDUCATION | D.C. Public Schools’ interim chancellor wants to keep the job (WaPo, 10/19)

NONPROFITS | Research and Evaluation in the Nonprofit Sector: Implications for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (NPQ, 10/19)

Social Sector Job Openings
Development Manager | ACT for Alexandria – New!
Community Investment Associate (Grants Administration) | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
President & CEO | Delaware Grantmakers Association
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital
Senior Program Manager, Community Benefits | Kaiser Permanente
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar
To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click the image below to access the calendar.

It may still be July here, but many other places seem to be experiencing a beautiful autumn.

The Almost Daily will be back on Monday!

– Rebekah

Some DCPS students back to school today in extended school year experiment

– It’s back to school today for students at 11 DC public schools that are part of a program that extends the school year by 20 days (WAMU, 8/8):

The hope is that by giving low-income students in struggling schools more time in the classroom, they’ll be able to make — and retain — academic gains more quickly. […]

Of the 11 schools extending their school year, nine are in wards 7 and 8, the city’s poorest. Under the new calendar, students will have shorter breaks interspersed throughout the year — but no break, not even summer, will be more than two weeks long. School will end on July 13 next year, and start right back up two weeks later.”

D.C. mayor announces search committee to help select new schools chancellor (WaPo, 8/5) Among the committee members are WRAG members Nicky Goren (President & CEO of the Meyer Foundation and WRAG board member) and Ed Fisher (Director of Community Affairs at CareFirst).

WORKFORCE | A bill has been introduced in the Montgomery County Council that would allow workers to use sick leave to care for a new baby. (Bethesda Beat, 8/4)

ARTS/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT | This past weekend, artists painted murals along a boarded up shopping mall slated for redevelopment along Rhode Island Ave in DC. Though the mall will be torn down later this year, the artists saw this as an opportunity to celebrate the heritage of a community undergoing rapid changes. (WaPo, 8/8)

Black Lives Matter Groups Push Grant Makers to Step Outside Their Comfort Zones (Chronicle, 8/4)

– The Foundation Center has launched a collection of literature and research on grantmaking intermediaries. (FC, 7/13) The Intermediaries Knowledge Center can be found here.

TRANSIT | In case you missed it, federal funding for the Purple Line has been held up indefinitely by a court decision last week. (WaPo, 8/4)

In honor of International Cat Day, a celebration of the superior pet.

– Rebekah

P.S. The (Almost) Daily will be back on Wednesday.

DC Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson to step down

Editor’s Note: For the rest of the summer, the Daily WRAG will be the (Almost) Daily WRAG, on an abbreviated schedule of three days a week. The next post will be on Tuesday, July 5. Have a great holiday weekend!

EDUCATION | Yesterday, Kaya Henderson announced that she will be stepping down as DC Public Schools Chancellor this fall (WaPo, 6/29):

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), who said she did not ask Henderson to resign, immediately tapped John Davis, the school system’s chief of schools, to serve as interim chancellor beginning Oct. 1. A national search for a permanent chancellor will begin later this year, but a replacement likely won’t start until the 2016-2017 school year concludes.


Bowser said that the city’s school-reform efforts will not slow under the next chancellor.

– Two new studies have found a correlation between increases in the minimum wage and increases in birth weight, a finding that has significant implications for equity. Another recent study found that, if New York City had a $15 minimum wage, between 2008 and 2012 “it could have ‘averted 2,800 to 5,500 premature deaths,’ mostly in low-income communities of color.” (City Lab, 6/28)

Mental Health, Violence, and Access to Services Are Top Priorities For D.C.’s 2020 Health Goals (WCP, 6/29)

WEST VIRGINIA | Our colleague organization, Philanthropy West Virginia, is hosting a webinar with local, state, and national philanthropy, corporate, and foundation leaders about ways to respond to the massive flooding in the state. The webinar is on Tuesday, July 5 from 11 AM to noon. Register by emailing info@philanthropywv.org to register.

– The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it will require over 28,000 employees across the country to participate in mandatory implicit bias training. (LA Times, 6/27)

– Kathleen Enright, head of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, writes about GEO’s decision to “embrace discomfort” and join efforts across the philanthropic sector to advance racial equity. (Huffington Post, 6/29)

HOUSING | How a House Can Shape a Child’s Future (Atlantic, 6/29)

SOCIAL INNOVATION | A report from the S&R Foundation and Capital One finds that D.C. is the top city in the country for fostering social enterprises. (WBJ, 6/29) Click here for the full report.

POVERTY | WAMU continues its series on an innovative Fort Worth nonprofit committed to moving people out of poverty. Today’s topic: collaboration. (WAMU, 6/30)

Associate | Innovation Network, Inc. | Deadline: 07/01/2016
Research Assistant | Innovation Network, Inc. | Deadline: 07/01/2016
Administrative Assistant (part time) | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers | Deadline: 7/18/2016
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation
Senior Communication Consultant | Kaiser Permanente
Part Time Bookkeeper/Accountant | ACT for Alexandria
Associate Director | Arabella Advisors
Associate Director (Conservation Focus) | Arabella Advisors
Director, Corporate Philanthropy | Council on Foundations

Visit WRAG’s job board to for the latest openings in the region’s social sector.

WRAG’s Community Calendar

Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to: seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.

Now you too can learn how to swim like a…mermaid?

– Rebekah

HUD proposes changes to federal housing vouchers in major markets

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently shared a proposed new rule that would adjust the maximum value of federal housing vouchers in several markets in order to account for variations in what it costs to live in certain neighborhoods (WaPo, 6/17):

Instead of setting “fair market rent” standards at the metropolitan level, in about 30 major metros including Washington, New York and Chicago, HUD will set them by ZIP code instead. That shift will mean significant change for a program that serves 2.2 million households, more than live in public housing projects.

The policy is designed to enable low-income families to use their housing aid to move to neighborhoods with less poverty, lower crime and better schools — an opportunity that research has shown can boost prospects for poor kids. Until now, the voucher program that was supposed to give families a chance to move out of deeply poor housing projects has largely concentrated them instead in deeply poor neighborhoods. In cities such as the District, a voucher just isn’t worth enough to afford entry into truly “high opportunity” places.

–  A radical idea to compensate black homeowners harmed by racial bias (WaPo, 6/17)

– WRAG’s summer intern Hudson Kaplan-Allen reflects on the key takeaways from the first session of WRAG’s 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, “Dos and Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers,” and the importance of cultivating authentic relationships among funders and grantees. The event featured keynote speaker Rick Moyers of the The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and panelists Julia Baer-Cooper, consultant with the England Family Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts, Ben Murphy of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Tracye Funn of Washington Gas. (Daily, 6/21)

– Daniel Solomon of the Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation will be leading DC Vote as the interim executive director. Solomon is a founder and board member of the organization.

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | Neurological research on child brain development following traumatic experiences has inspired some educators to rethink past approaches to zero-tolerance discipline. Schools in the District are investing in better strategies to help students overcome persistent stress. (WaPo, 6/18)

VIRGINIAMeasure to improve police trust, transparency up for vote in Fairfax (WaPo, 6/21)

A glimpse at public libraries across the country.

– Ciara

A study on associations of violence and young black males

A new study finds that young black males are associated with stereotypes of violence at as early as five-years-old. Researchers conducted a series of implicit-bias tests in order to reach their results. (Atlantic, 2/8)

The four experiments provided converging evidence that brief presentations of Black male faces—whether of adults or children—primed the detection of threatening objects (i.e., guns) and increased accessibility of threat-related words. Furthermore, these racial biases were driven entirely by differences in automatic processing; indeed, we found no differences in estimates of controlled processing. The collective findings, therefore, support the hypothesis that youth sustains, rather than attenuates, race-based threat associations.

Opinion: The 1980s crack epidemic that had a stronghold on the nation’s perception of drug users is often discussed in the media and handled by law enforcement in a different way than the heroin epidemic currently spreading across the country. One writer explores how racial differences have played into the media hysteria and public perception around the “faces” of certain drug addictions. (NYT, 2/9)

There’s been a big decline in the black incarceration rate, and almost nobody’s paying attention (WaPo, 2/10)

HOUSING | For many, housing in the region has become so expensive that a growing number of people are considering a move to the Baltimore area, despite long commuting times into the D.C. for work. (WAMU, 2/9) Audio

ARTS | Now you can get a sneak peek inside the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

EDUCATION | D.C. Public Schools to overhaul teacher training and evaluation (WaPo, 2/10)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: It’s Not Foundation Money, But Culture and Talent That Can Change The World (Chronicle, 2/10)

Planning a trip to Chicago soon? You could stay in a life-size replica of a Van Gogh painting.

– Ciara

New shelters announced ahead of D.C. General closure

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the proposed locations of eight new family shelters in each ward of the District that will ultimately replace the D.C. General shelter. (WCP, 2/9)

D.C. General is currently home to 260 families, including around 400 children. The old hospital facility is located near the Hill East neighborhood in a complex of buildings that includes the D.C. Jail and a methadone clinic. It became a shelter for families under the Fenty administration and has continued in that fashion as the family homelessness crisis in D.C. has exploded (the number of homeless families has increased by 40 percent since 2010).

Obama Will Seek $11 Billion For Homeless Families (NYT, 2/8)

PHILANTHROPY | The Chronicle of Philanthropy has released their annual list of the top 50 biggest American donors. In 2015, nearly $7 billion was given to social profits, with colleges and foundations receiving the most funds. (Chronicle, 2/9) Subscription required

– A new study by the University of Virginia finds that the IMPACT system for evaluating teachers improved student performance significantly. The system launched in DC Public Schools in 2009 to much criticism. (NY Mag, 2/8)

In an age of resegregation, these schools are trying to balance poor and wealthy kids (WaPo, 2/9)

MENTAL HEALTH/VIRGINIA | In Virginia, Prince William and Loudoun counties are among eight localities that are offering programming to support young adults who have suffered their first psychotic episode. (WaPo, 2/8)

FOOD | Opinion: The food movement is small? Not from where I sit, it isn’t (WaPo, 2/4)

CSR | Applications are now open for the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards & Chair’s Luncheon.

Are you a nonconformist? The answer may lie in which Internet browser you use.

 – Ciara


An “equitable development plan” for the 11th Street Bridge Project

You can read the newly-released plans for D.C.’s upcoming 11th Street Bridge Park that aim to bring greater economic development and equity to the project’s surrounding neighborhoods. (WCP, 11/11)

An “equitable development plan” released today by a collective of local organizations and government officials outlines eight strategies for job creation, small business growth, and housing opportunities focused on residents in the immediate area of the bridge. The (relatively) short-term strategies include hiring residents who live in Wards 6, 7, and 8 to help construct the park as well as preserving existing affordable housing near the bridge since home values will almost certainly rise as the park nears completion. On the longer-term side, the plan recommends creating a kiosk-based food service model that permits D.C. entrepreneurs to sell their goods in the park and improving walkability between the bridge and both sides of the river to move people to surrounding commercial corridors.

COMMUNITY | The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has announced its 22nd annual call for applications for the AIM (Advancement in Management) Award from social profit organizations in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The AIM Award is presented by Pepco, with additional support form Capital One, and Rotary Club of Washington, D.C.  The deadline to submit applications is January 22, 2016. Click here to learn more.

– As D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson marks her fifth year in the role, she and other education advocates reflect on the progress that has been made. (WaPo, 11/11)

 Want to Make a School Better? Get Kids to Show Up (NPR, 11/12)

HEALTHCARE | D.C. has the fourth highest rate of individuals enrolled in health insurance, according to a recent analysis comparing the highest and lowest rates across the country. Among D.C.’s uninsured, however, ethnic and racial disparities persist. (DCist, 11/11)

HOUSING | A recent report on the price of housing finds that, while rental costs for all renters are increasing, rent for high-income tenants in luxury developments is rising at a slower pace than for those who earn low incomes. (Atlantic, 11/11)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: How Offering an Innovation Prize Energized Our Grantmaking (Chronicle, 11/12)

POVERTY/CRIMINAL JUSTICE | The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice is taking a closer look at the challenges low-income defendants in criminal cases face, especially when they are represented by court-appointed lawyers who do not always have their best interests in mind. (NPR, 11/12)

Is D.C. really the snobbiest East Coast city? Some people think so!

– Ciara 

Friday roundup – October 19 through October 23, 2015

 – WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland was profiled on the 2030 Group’s blog and discussed WRAG’s supportive role in the Roadmap Initiative. (2030 Group, 10/14)

– Enrollment is up in D.C. public schools for the seventh year in a row after decades of steady decline, signaling a possible shift in parent confidence in the school system. (WaPo, 10/20)

– New data show a four percent increase in D.C. public school graduation rates. (DCist, 10/19)

– A study measuring efforts of U.S. high schools in teaching financial literacy gave each state a grade. Virginia earned an “A”; Maryland earned a “B”; and the District received an “F”.  (WBJ, 10/20)

– Montgomery County is set to launch its biggest-ever solar initiative. (WBJ, 10/19)

 As Schools Buy More Local Food, Kids Throw Less Food in the Trash (NPR, 10/20)

Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to: myers@washingtongrantmakers.org.

Calendar won’t display? Click here.

It’s Friday! Before you get out there and put on your dancing shoes, see if you can identify these moves.

– Ciara

The numbers (and morals) behind developing affordable housing

new interactive tool available online shows how developers can, in fact, generate a profit by building affordable housing almost anywhere despite the commonly-held belief that this is not possible. Jennifer Bradley, founding director of the Center for Urban Innovation at the Aspen Institute (and WRAG’s business meeting speaker at our upcoming 2015 Annual Meeting) was a panelist at a recent summit that examined assumptions like this around affordable housing. (City Lab, 10/19)

It can feel like a mantra among private developers: Requirements by municipal governments to include affordable units in market-rate housing developments make those developments unprofitable, even unfeasible. It may be one of the most frequently repeated claims about housing in general. Can it possibly be right?

That’s the question that Jennifer Bradley, founding director of the Center for Urban Innovation at the Aspen Institute, posed during an afternoon session Monday at The Atlantic’s CityLab 2015 summit in London. As it turns out, it’s not a rhetorical question. Affordable housing isn’t a profit proposition. It’s a question of morals.

DC’s affordable housing might be saved through collaboration (Elevation DC, 10/20)

COMMUNITY/EVENTS | WRAG’s colleague organization, the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, has generously invited WRAG member funders to participate in their upcoming program, Vulnerable Immigrants in Maryland: Responding to Unaccompanied Children and Undocumented Adults on Tuesday, October 27 at 2:00 pm. Click here for details on how to attend in person or register to join remotely.

ENVIRONMENTBig Solar Plans for Montgomery County (WBJ, 10/20)

– Newly-released numbers point to a four percent increase in graduation rates for D.C. public school students who graduated within four years, up from the 2013-14 school year. (DCist, 10/19)

– In a new study measuring the efforts of high schools across the U.S. in teaching financial literacy, Virginia was named one of only five states to receive an “A” grade. Maryland received a “B”, while D.C. came away with an “F”.  (WBJ, 10/20)

WORKFORCE | Survey: Half Of Food Workers Go To Work Sick Because They Have To (NPR, 10/19)

SOCIAL PROFITS | The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation invites proposals from youth-serving social profit organizations in the Greater Washington region for its Good Neighbor Grant program, which offers one-time grants of $10,000 to $35,000. The application deadline is December 3, 2015. Click here for more information.

ECONOMY/VIRGINIA | Check out which Virginia county is becoming a hub for startups. (Inc., 10/15)

When you come across an old-timey photo at a garage sale or junk store, you buy it!

– Ciara

Retail sector employment rises, wages do not follow

The retail sector in D.C. has seen significant employment and sales growth over the last few years, but wages have remained stagnant. The D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis takes a look at the numbers and explores the reasons behind the slow growth that affects a number of workers in the District. (District, Measured, 9/30)

Despite the growth in the retail sector sales and employment, total payroll at retail establishments remained stagnant and earnings per employee, after adjusting for inflation, do not appear to have increased. In 1997, a retail worker in the District took home what would have been the equivalent of $25,642 today. In 2012, earnings were up by only about $1,000 compared to 1998, but down from earnings from 2007, which stood at $28,913.

Opinion: An instructor and restaurant server shares why she thinks people should stop applying labels like “low-skilled” when referring to task-oriented workers, and explains how perceptions can work to keep some people in poverty. (NYT, 10/1)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | In their continuing Matters@Hand thought-leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND explores innovative affordable housing policies from around the country. (Helping Hands Blog, 6/1)

– DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson launched an initiative to expand AP classes in high schools across the city and increase course offerings available to low-income and minority students, but the failure rate has grown rapidly for students trying to pass the college-level courses. (GGW, 9/29)

– High schools across D.C. and Virginia saw rising graduation rates in 2015, consistent with nationwide trends. (WaPo, 9/29)

The Data Are Damning: How Race Influences School Funding (Atlantic, 9/30)

ARTS | If you’ve seen some pretty inspiring garbage trucks making their way through the District lately, thank the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities  in partnership with the Department of Public Works for hosting a competition featuring the original designs of local artists. (WaPo, 9/30)

IMMIGRATION | For Immigrants, the ‘Melting Pot’ Is a Mixed Bag (City Lab, 9/30)

Hopefully, you never find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to call the police. But in the event that you do, please make sure it is not for this reason

– Ciara