How the 2015 Housing Budget Relates to THC

Webster Gardens Residents Moving InIn a city where acronyms and jargon are often the way that people communicate, we thought we would take a moment to translate some of the terms that relate to the work of THC.

Housing Production Trust Fund or HPTF is the District of Columbia’s “primary affordable housing tool”. This trust fund is used by nonprofit and for-profit developers to support their efforts to construct, rehabilitate and acquire housing for low and moderate income households. We benefited from the HPTF, when THC and Somerset Development partnered to redevelop Fort View and Webster Gardens in 2009.

Local Rent Supplement Program or LRSP is a monthly subsidy for DC residents with household income of less than 30% of the Area Median Income. This allows recipients to pay an affordable amount (30%) of their income in rent rather than market rate rent. There are two types of LRSP options; tenant-based (a voucher that travels with the tenant and can be used for different apartments) and project-based (a voucher that is tied to a specific apartment). Another difference between these two LRSP types is that project-based vouchers require that sponsors (like THC) provide support services. One-third of the residents at THC’s Fort View and Webster Gardens locations receive project-based LRSP subsidies along with access to THC’s Resident Services.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits or LIHTC is an incentive to inspire the private market to invest in affordable rental housing. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, “Federal Housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified projects. Developers then sell these credits to investors to raise capital (or equity) for their projects, which reduces the debt that the developer would otherwise have to borrow. Because the debt is lower, a tax credit property can in turn offer lower, more affordable rents.”

THC benefited from LIHTC in the creation of Webster Gardens and Fort View with Somerset Development, and in the upcoming rehabilitation of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Commons (formerly known as Delta Commons).

Permanent Supportive Housing Program or PSH is type of permanent housing option specifically for chronically homeless (homeless for one year or more or at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years) families and individuals with “a disabling condition”. Nationally, PSH is recognized as being as a best practice in housing for housing chronically homeless individuals and families because it makes an array of services available while also being the most cost-effective way of working with these groups.

THC serves 94 families through one residential building and scattered sites throughout Washington, DC. THC’s PSH is specifically targeted towards chronically homeless families with mental health disabilities, a history of substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, or other physical health disabilities. These families need intensive supports to remain in housing and are better able to move forward in their lives if they are first housed.

As a result of this year’s advocacy efforts by THC staff, the CNHED Housing for All Campaign and a variety of other housing advocates in the city, homelessness and affordable housing became a top priority. This is reflected in Mayor Gray’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

Here are some of the highlights:

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