Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray on April 17 kicked off a new campaign aimed at moving homeless families from the city’s shelter into permanent residences of their own.
The “500 Families. 100 Days. Quality DC Housing Now” campaign is a partnership between Gray’s administration, the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, the Transitional Housing Corporation and the Coalition for Non-Profit Housing and Economic Development.
First introduced at Gray’s State of the District address in March, the initiative is part of the mayor’s Crisis Response Plan and also addresses the demand for housing for homeless families by increasing the stock of affordable housing rental units which landlords and developers must make available.
“Although the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget my administration submitted to the Council plans for an additional $100 million investment in affordable housing to build on the historic $187 million commitment we made in the last two years, we are focused on moving our families out of shelter and into stable housing as quickly as possible,” Gray said.
The Department of Human Services and the partner organizations will work together to identify 500 apartments in which to house homeless families over the next 100 days.
According to the Mayor's office, Gray met with the Apartment and Office Building Association and several non-profit and for-profit organizations earlier this month to advocate for housing on behalf of the homeless families in D.C.
Human Services spokeswoman Dora Taylor said that, so far, 27 families have exited D.C. shelters for homes identified by the campaign.
“The gist of the program is that we are appealing and conducting outreach to landlords so that landlords will help us identify quality but affordable apartments for homeless families,” said Taylor.
Once apartments have been identified for homeless families, the Rapid Rehousing plan will be used to appeal to landlords. Under the plan, families who are placed in the identified apartment units will work with a case manager to develop a plan to become self-sufficient. The families will receive a subsidy from the Department of Human Services that will help them cover approximately 60 percent of their rent. The families will be responsible for paying the other 40 percent from their income until they can pay the full market value. They are also required to recertify for the subsidy every four months, and are eligible to recertify at least twice.
The campaign is expected to end July 10. Taylor said D.C. landlords, non-profit developers and organizations have expressed interest in helping move families into affordable housing.
Landlords or developers with available, affordable apartments who are interested in more information about the campaign may write to firstname.lastname@example.org