Tomorrow’s another big day for us in the budget process – mark-ups and a rally!
Remember those committee hearings we were all excited about two weeks ago? Well, there was a point to that.
The hearings were an opportunity for the public to tell councilmembers about funding for the programs that were important to them. Hyacinth’s place spoke out for the Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP) and testified in support of the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). As a refresher, the LRSP helps low-income residents with their rents, and the District uses the HPTF to build and keep up affordable housing units. Without these funding streams, Hyacinth’s Place could not provide our residents with the important services that we do. So we joined our partners in the housing-rights community in asking the committees to allocate $2 million for the LRSP and $100 million for the HPTF.
We did our job—now it’s the committees’ turn. They’ve gotten our feedback and at the mark-ups will reveal their own funding recommendations and vote on them. We’ll find out if they have our backs and allocate the funding levels for HPTF and LRSP that we requested.
Here are the two committee mark-ups we’ll be watching:
· Thursday at 10 AM: Committee on Human Services, which funds the LRSP.
· Thursday at 1:15 PM: Committee on Economic Development, which funds HPTF.
The hearings were one opportunity to speak out for our funding priorities. But there are plenty more ways to get involved.
First of all, while the mark-ups are going on, there are two big visibility events:
From 10 AM to Noon at the Wilson Building: advocates in the housing-rights community will gather for the Face-to-Face with Homelessness rally. A big turnout will show the Councilmembers that their constituents support funding for a comprehensive approach to ending homelessness. You can RSVP here.
And be sure to check out the gallery while you’re there (any time between 10AM and 5 PM), which will feature photos of individuals and families who are homeless in the District. Homelessness too often is invisible in our city, and putting a face on the individuals and families who experience it is the single best way to encourage both the Council and our fellow DC-ers that it’s time to take action.
You can find out more info on the rally and exhibit here.
If you can’t make it, be sure to tell the Council you support funding for a plan to end chronic homelessness.
And follow us on Twitter—we’ll be there!