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Mayor Bowser Announces Landlord Partnership Fund

Friday, October 6, 2017
Series of programmatic improvements will strengthen relationships with landlords and promote housing stability

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser and administration officials met with local landlords to announce the implementation of a Landlord Partnership Fund. The announcement was made with officials from the two organizations that partnered to design the fund – the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) and the Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED).

“My Administration is committed to making homelessness in DC rare, brief, and nonrecurring and the Landlord Partnership Fund as well as the improvements we are making to our homeless services system are going to help us reach that goal,” said Mayor Bowser. “I want to thank the Downtown DC Business Improvement District and the Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development for their tremendous leadership in getting this fund up and running.”

In response to feedback from landlords who lease to residents experiencing homelessness, the Landlord Partnership Fund will cover certain costs incurred by landlords of tenants whose rent is subsidized by a Department of Human Services (DHS) Homeless Services intervention, such as the Rapid Rehousing or Permanent Supportive Housing programs. In return, landlords are expected to relax screening criteria for people experiencing certain barriers like poor credit and past evictions that have prevented them from securing housing on their own. The coverage, which will be capped, will cover costs associated with property damage (beyond normal wear and tear) that exceed a tenant’s security deposit as well as unpaid rent.

The Landlord Partnership Fund is resourced with private funding from local business groups and will be managed and administered through CNHED, a local organization whose primary focus is providing opportunities for advancement to low- and moderate-income District residents.

“The DowntownDC Business Improvement District is proud to support the Landlord Partnership Fund as an effective way to increase the number of housing units available for people experiencing homelessness,” said Neil Albert, President and Executive Director of the DowntownDC BID. “The DowntownDC BID, in partnership with the DowntownDC community, has made significant investments in improving the lives of people experiencing homelessness by providing professional outreach services on the streets of DowntownDC and by establishing a drop-in center for at-risk youth, and this fund helps further our shared goal of ending homelessness in DowntownDC.”

“CNHED designed this innovative initiative along with our partners at the DowntownDC BID to help ensure that those coming out of homelessness have an affordable, secure home. Those contributing to the Fund should be applauded for their willingness be a part of the solution,” said CNHED President Steven Glaude.

In addition to the Landlord Partnership Fund, the Bowser Administration is also implementing a series of programmatic improvements that will allow the District to better serve residents experiencing homelessness. The updates will strengthen relationships with property owners and promote housing stability for individuals and families exiting homelessness

  • The Rental Partnership Initiative: This initiative streamlines the payment structure for families who are in DHS’ rapid rehousing program. Instead of receiving two forms of payment for rent each month, participating landlords will receive the full value of the rental payment from the District of Columbia Housing Authority.
  • Flexible Rent Subsidy Pilot Program: The pilot program, which is a partnership between the Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and The Lab @ DC, targets families who, based on their income, are at risk of homelessness. This shallow rental assistance program provides families with monthly rental assistance and case management focused on increasing stability for up to four years.
  • Enhanced Case Management in Rapid Rehousing Program: DHS has strengthened and clarified its case management requirements. Starting in October 2018, DHS is providing additional capacity building and oversight of case managers so we can better support clients to budget their money, obtain employment or enroll in training programs, and plan for a successful transition out of rap
  • Better Communication Vehicles between DHS and Landlords: DHS has established a portal to help landlords quickly resolve payment issues or other program-related questions. Additionally, with support from the philanthropic community, the ICH will have a full-time staff person dedicated to coordinating landlord engagement and housing location efforts.

In 2015, Mayor Bowser and her Interagency Council on Homelessness released “Homeward DC,” a five-year strategic plan for reforming the District’s homeless services system and making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring. Between 2016 and 2017, after the first full year of the plan’s implementation, Washington, DC saw a 10.5 percent reduction in overall homelessness, a 22 percent reduction in homelessness among families, a 15 percent reduction among veterans experiencing homelessness, and a 3 percent reduction among individuals experiencing homelessness.

Housing Week 2017

Today’s announcements are part of Housing Week 2017, a combined effort to highlight the remarkable progress the Bowser Administration has made to produce and preserve affordable housing across all eight wards. Since 2015, the Administration has sparked the creation or preservation of more than 8,400 affordable units, with another 3,700 units in preconstruction. On Monday, the Mayor highlighted more than $138 million in investments from the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) in fiscal year 2017. The investments will support 23 projects that will produce or preserve more than 1,900 affordable housing units throughout the city.