(Washington, DC) - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, joined by Department of Housing and Community Development Director Leila Edmonds, today announced the availability of $7.5 million in Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) funds, which are part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Beginning this week, the District will distribute these resources to prevent homelessness and to re-house District residents who are experiencing homelessness.
“Through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing program, the District is both preventing and responding to urgent housing needs in the District,” said Mayor Fenty. “We look forward to supporting District residents’ efforts to secure safe and comfortable homes.”
In addition, the District hosted a training session today at the Department of Housing and Community Development, 1800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue SE. Community organizations that will partner with the District received detailed information about implementation of the HPRP.
Using HPRP funds, the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide financial assistance, housing counseling, and legal services to District residents struggling to afford housing. Sixty percent of the $7.5 million must be spent in the next two years, and the full amount must be spent within three years. An estimated 680 to 800 District households will receive support as a result of the HPRP grant.
“HPRP provides an excellent supplement to our existing programs,” said Director Edmonds. “My staff and I will take full advantage of this opportunity to ensure stable and affordable housing for families in our city.”
A total of $1,040,000 has been allocated to homelessness prevention. District residents at risk of losing their homes due to financial hardship may access the $750,000 set aside for rent arrearage, $50,000 for utility assistance, and/or $240,000 towards the first month’s rent and security deposit on a new rental unit. Families can receive up to a total of $6500 for assistance related to homelessness prevention, while individuals can receive up to $5000.
DHS will use $2,412,500 of the HPRP funds to provide rapid re-housing services to District residents who are experiencing a temporary barrier to housing, such as recently becoming unemployed, may benefit from $1,997, 500 allocated to rental subsidies. DHS will also offer funding for the first month of rent and security deposits for eligible residents who are unable to afford the high initial cost of securing a rental unit. Individuals and families are both eligible for up to 18 months of rental subsidy assistance. Recipients’ eligibility for a rental subsidy will be reassessed every three months to determine whether the recipient continues to need financial support.
“To take full advantage of these resources, DHS has partnered with strong community based organizations,” said DHS Director Carter. “Working together, we will provide households with the financial support and services necessary to ensure continuous housing.”
In addition to homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing, DHS will provide housing counseling and search assistance to households struggling to manage payments and/or find appropriate housing. To ensure that HPRP participants remain housed, $1,440,000 in HPRP funds will support case management for individual households. A total of $80,000 will be allocated to housing counseling and search assistance, which will help participants build financial management skills and identify appropriate housing options. Tenants struggling from legal issues, including eviction, may benefit from $375,000 in subsidies for legal services.
Four area nonprofits, included below, have partnered with DHS to provide eligibility determinations as well as other housing support services. Residents interested in accessing HPRP funds should contact one of the following partner organizations to schedule an eligibility determination:
Southeast Family Center
220 Highview Place, SE
(202) 574 3472
Community of Hope
413 Girard Street, NW
(202) 232 7356
1616 7th Street, NW
(202) 232 0538
Housing Counseling Services
2410 17th Street, NW
(202) 667 7007
The Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness
Virginia Williams Family Resource Cetner
920 Rhode Island Avenue. NW
(202) 479 2845