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Speaker 4 - 6:32:09 PM
Sounds good. Okay. Evening everyone. Welcome to the District of Columbia Public Hearing for the Metropolitan Washington Regional Fair Housing Plan, as well as our 2024 needs assessment process. You see here, today's agenda, I'm welcoming everyone to this event on behalf of acting director Colleen Green. She can't be here tonight, but we're also gonna have Dr. Amber Hewitt here with us to discuss the district-wide Racial Equity Action plan. I'm gonna go over the Regional Fair Housing plan and the goals, and we're also gonna talk about our 2024 needs assessment planning. And we're gonna have testimony opportunities for the regional fair Housing plan, as well as our needs assessment process.
Speaker 4 - 6:33:09 PM
Okay. So I'm gonna begin with some opening remarks on behalf of the acting director, Colleen Green. One moment please. Okay, good evening. Welcome to the district's public hearing on the draft Regional Fair Housing Plan and the needs assessment for 2024 and annual action plan. I am Leslie Edmond, housing Compliance Officer here at the District of Columbia Department of Housing. I'd like to welcome you to this hearing tonight. The mayor, backed by counsel, has invested record amounts and affordable housing and established bold housing goals to address housing affordability for all Washingtonians. In particular, the mayor has established a black home ownership strike force, which produce recommendations to address residential segregation patterns, increase home ownership for black residents, and we have taken extensive steps to address and remediate poverty and the concentration and segregation of affordable housing in the district. DHT D is acutely aware of equity issues surrounding the existing concentrations of affordable housing in Ward seven and eight.
Speaker 4 - 6:34:24 PM
Just this past year, mayor Bowser increased the maximal available from ownership assistance for district resident to $202,000 as part of the HPA program. She's also investing an additional 8 million into the home purchase assistance program, and that will bring the total budget for H a in 2024 to 29 million this year. So far, H a p has assisted 250 person. So briefly, I'm gonna hand it over to Dr. Amber Hewitt and she's gonna present her slides on racial equity that her the District-Wide Racial Equity Action Plan. Additionally, I'm gonna go ahead and quickly introduce some of the team members here at DC D eight cd. We have Ms. Kellyann Morrow, she's our grant management officer, and we also have Mr. Clive Edwards, who is a program analyst. So I'm gonna go ahead and hand it off to Dr. Amber Hewitt.
Speaker 7 - 6:35:28 PM
Good evening everyone. Leslie, thank you for that introduction. Excited to share with you all an update on the district-wide Racial Equity Action Plan, and excited to collaborate with the Department of Housing and Community Development over the past year on several initiatives, one of which is the development of their agency level Racial Equity action plan. I will be sharing the district-wide plan, which has similar goals and objectives as the forthcoming agency level plan, not to be confused, to confused with what we're gonna discuss later on about the regional housing equity initiatives. So if we can go to the next slide. For those of you who aren't as familiar with the Mayor's Office of Racial Equity, I fit in this role for two years. The mayor established this office in February of 2021. I was appointed in April of 2021, and the office sits within the office of the city administrator, and our team is charged for developing a framework and the infrastructure to embed racial equity principles into our government operations, as well as the development of policies, programs, practices, as well as the budget.
Speaker 7 - 6:36:50 PM
And Leslie mentioned several of the mayor's investments related to racial equity and housing equity. An important thing to note about the office is, is that we also carry forward a law passed by DC Council in December of 2020 called the Racial Equity Achieved Results Act. And one of the provisions in that act is the development of the district's first racial equity action plan. So I'll provide an overview of that, the goals with connections to how it connects with the larger housing equity work across the district. Next slide. So what is a racial equity action plan? So this is the district's first formalized accountability process and measure when it comes to racial equity. However, Leslie highlighted several investments, and you'll hear about the work from other work from D H C D that promotes racial equity as well. So this work has been ongoing, but the Racial Equity Action Plan promotes alignment across equity initiatives in the government and lays out specific commitments that are achievable within a three year period.
Speaker 7 - 6:38:06 PM
And it's a way to sort of put our work into action. So this is a plan that will span across three fiscal years. And on the next slide, you will see the four. Well, we'll start with the, our engagement process, and then we'll go into the four goals of the plan. So central to our work is community engagement and lifting up the lived experiences of residents, particularly those who are most impacted by our policies and programs. And we define racial equity as both a process and an outcome. So we'll know that we will have achieved racial equity when race or or ethnicity no longer predicts opportunities, outcomes, or the distribution of resources. But it's also a process. And that process involves meaningfully engaging residents in prioritizing their input and perspectives into government decision making. And here you'll see snapshots over the past year, starting in the, well now close to two years, starting in the fall of 2021, when we were earlier in the pandemic, we had a series of virtual listening sessions with residents focus group style, where we ask the question, if you could imagine a more racially equitable dc what would that look like?
Speaker 7 - 6:39:25 PM
And from that, we developed draft goals and indicators or ways that we will measure our progress towards achieving racial equity. We followed that up with the series of meetings with agency directors, including the former interim director of DH CDs. We had about 35 meetings with DC agency directors and senior staff, as well as the deputy mayor and the city administrator. After that, we held a series of public engagement forums over the summer in partnership with many of the offices under the umbrella of the Mayor's Office of Community Affairs. Those engagements were multilingual, hybrid, virtual, in-person format. In the fall, we had a launch event with the mayor where we released the draft racial equity action plan, followed by a public comment period that ended in January 31st. Right now, our team is analyzing those comments and we expect the final racial equity action plan later this spring slash early summer.
Speaker 7 - 6:40:32 PM
So what are the goals of the plan? So the next slide, you'll see the four goals of the plan, two or more internal around. So the first and the fourth or more internal DC government staff understands and are committed to achieving racial equity. So under this goal are actions such as percent of agency staff who have completed a racial equity training, the number of agencies that are utilizing and applying the racial equity tools and resources that we've developed. The fourth goal is also the more internal goal is how can DC further our commitments to being an equitable employer? And not just when it comes to hiring, but when it comes to promotion and retention practices as well. When I think the second goal for last, so we can go back to the previous slide. So the third goal is related to meaningfully involving community and strengthening our community partnerships, which is a key element of our work.
Speaker 7 - 6:41:39 PM
And then the second goal, which relates to the topic of today, is looking at specific racial and ethnic inequities in seven key areas. And you'll see that housing is one of those areas. So if you go to the next slide, you'll see a snapshot of what are the ways that we hope to measure racial equity as it relates to these seven topics. So under housing, and this is just a snapshot, these indicators may look different in the final version of the plan because residents and stakeholder groups were very active and vocal in pitching new indicators that we are currently consi currently considering. So under housing, we have housing cost burden, homelessness, home ownership, and housing proximity, frequent to transit. And all of these indicators will be disaggregated by race and ethnicity and displayed on a forthcoming racial equity dashboard. And you'll see other indicators related to the other six priority areas.
Speaker 7 - 6:42:41 PM
But for today, it'll just focus on housing. So we go to the next slide. Just wanna give you a snapshot of what we heard during the public comment period as it relates to housing and housing equity. We had about 150, I know it says 139 here, but we've had a total of about 150 comments from residents and stakeholders. And on the next slide, you'll see when it came to ways that we plan to measure our progress towards achieving racial equity, looking at those specific indicators, you'll see that the housing theme had the most comments followed by economic opportunity. And I don't think that is a surprise. And thinking about housing and economic opportunity together. For example, we know the, the data on their racial wealth gap and thinking about the connections between both housing justice and economic justice. So this is just a snapshot of how residents and stakeholders responded to the racial equity action plan with housing being the theme that that happened.
Speaker 7 - 6:43:47 PM
Most comments. Next slide. So what's next? So I've mentioned before that we're finalizing the racial equity action plan based on what we heard from residents and stakeholders. We plan to follow up with targeted stakeholder engagement with local racial and social justice groups to share what we heard and how we plan, how we are incorporating their input in the final plan. And then I mentioned before that those indicators that you saw like around homelessness, housing, educational outcomes, economic opportunity, all of that, we're working with the office of the Chief Technology office to display that on a dashboard that is engaging and accessible to residents. So the next slide is my contact information. If you want to read the draft plan, you can go to our website at plan. But with the caveat that we are working on a final version, feel free to reach out to me with any questions. And if you want to stay up to date about the office, you can go to our website and subscribe to our newsletter as well as follow us on our social media channels. So with that, I'll turn it back to Leslie.
Speaker 4 - 6:45:04 PM
Thank you Dr. Hewitt for that presentation. Very informative. Let's move on to the rest of our presentation tonight. I'm gonna discuss the regional fair Housing plan. And I think that is a great segue talking about the district-wide racial equity plan and moving over to the Regional Fair Housing Plan. Okay. All right. So you'll see here an infographic just going over some basic fair housing concepts. We wanna make you guys all aware of the impact of, you know, where you live matters, it impacts where you go to school, your transportation opportunities, your access to medical services, you know, jobs as well. So we're gonna move forward.
Speaker 4 - 6:45:56 PM
I'm get give you an update and summary of what we've been doing with the Regional Fair Housing Plan. So this started about seven years ago, doing what's called an analysis of impediments to Fair Housing Choice is a HUD requirement. We are required to do this in order to affirm relief further fair housing. But for the purpose of this discussion, we're calling it a regional Fair Housing Plan. At other times, you may have heard it discussed as a housing equity plan. It includes 12 jurisdictions. We've been working on it for about seven years. We originally started and it was led with coordination through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. During that time, there were some shifts at HUD about the A F H rule. And so we had to go ahead and release a report in 2019. That's on the DH CD website. So this regional plan is an actually an update of the 2019 plan and report that's currently on our G H C D website.
Speaker 4 - 6:47:04 PM
All right. All right. So I'm gonna go over some initiatives that have occurred in the last few years since we actually started with the last plan, and then we're gonna go into some of the goals and then we'll open it up for testimony. Okay. As earlier mentioned in comments, the mayor launched a black home ownership strike Force last year. The strike Force issued 10 recommendations in October, 2022. The largest goal was to create 20,000 black homeowners by 2030. So that's 20,000 black DC homeowners. This goal directly addresses discrimination that prohibits black residents from becoming homeowners and building intergenerational wealth in DC among the current economic climate, specifically increasing home prices and interest rates.
Speaker 4 - 6:48:04 PM
Additionally, we have increased housing production goals. In 2019, the mayor set a goal of 36,000 new housing units. By 2025, 12,000 of these units must be affordable. We are at about 8,000 units that have been produced that are affordable, I believe. And she also issued a housing order on May 10th, 2019, asking district agencies that touch on housing to come up with new policies, tools, and initiatives to reach that goal. One of those tools was the creation of a housing framework for equity and growth. It came up with recommendations to increase housing affordability and opportunity for all residents. We analyzed the distribution of affordable housing units throughout the district, and DH C d and the Office of Planning hosted some community discussions regarding the topic.
Speaker 4 - 6:49:04 PM
Additionally, the inclusionary zoning was amended. So rentals are now restricted to people at 60% of ami. We can now have accessory dwelling units previously was not allowed accessory dwelling units, they're just units off the side of your home. Or maybe you wanna have like a mother-in-law suite. They can help people take care of their parents. We can also utilize them. So for persons that need a zero step entrance, for example, persons with disabilities, d d has launched a residential accessory apartment program. You can go to our website to get more information about that, where we provide funding to help people convert units to rental units. All right. We also released the comprehensive plan, which included a housing element. That housing element took into account some of the comments from our last AI from 2019 in 2011. And we, those issues regarding fair housing through meetings with OP and D C D, as well as citizen input and common, all right, increased affordable housing funding.
Speaker 4 - 6:50:20 PM
So over the last nine years, we have funded the housing production trust fund at at at 100 million, at least an FY 22 and 23. It's been funded at over 400 million. We have invested over 1 billion for the Housing Production Trust fund. The Preservation Fund, and the preservation unit was created as a result of the preservation strike force. This, the goal of this program is to preserve small properties, rental properties. We implemented the DOPA regulations. That's the district Opportunity to Purchase ACT program. The preservation fund was created with 10 million. And based upon the, the way it's administered, it actually leverages funding three to one. So in return, we actually hit 30 million instead of the 10 million that was originally put into the fund.
Speaker 4 - 6:51:16 PM
Okay, so from 20 20 21, 20 24, the Olmsted Community Integration Plan was released. DH c D was part of the housing working group. We now have a housing priority as part of this Olmsted plan. The Olmsted plan is a direct result of a 1999 Supreme Court case. A local and state government must create a plan for including persons with disabilities into an integrated lifestyle or environment, including, you know, housing, job opportunities, access to community and public spaces. All right, the next slide here, you'll see all of the agencies that have been working together over the last three years on the housing priority for the Olmstead Plan, disability Rights, the Housing Authority, department of Healthcare Finance, department of Human Services, department of Behavioral Health are some of the agencies that were included, as well as the Department of Aging and Community Living.
Speaker 4 - 6:52:25 PM
Okay, so the Fair Housing Plan, that is drafted, and that's on the COG website and also on the DT website, a snippet of it. It's written in plain language for the executive summary, the flyer and the goals, not the whole document, but the executive summary and the flyer and the goals. Plain language means that you're drafting for, you're writing for an audience so that they can understand the information material. And it is written at about a grade nine. We took those documents and then we translated them into Spanish from hard, French, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. And you can see all of those documents on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments websites at Bill Point below.
Speaker 4 - 6:53:12 PM
All right, so I'm gonna go through the goals that came out of the report. So, goal one was to create more housing for families earning at or below 60% of the mfi. Goal two was to change building regulations to increase affordable housing variety and supply. Three was to create new policies to preserve affordable housing supported by public funds. Goal four was to help more protected class members become homeowners. Goal five, protect the housing rights of people in protected classes. Goal six, remove barriers and increase community-based options for people with disabilities. And goal seven, make public transportation easy to access and afford.
Speaker 4 - 6:54:00 PM
Okay, we're about to turn it over to all the participants that are here tonight with us. We want to clarify the, this open testimony period is about the regional Fair Housing plan and its goals. We are not here to take comments on specifically housing authority operations, or let's say a specific program at gt right now. We're here to talk about the plan itself. If you have comments or questions regarding something that is off topic, please feel free to send us an email. We will definitely connect you with the right people to get the services delivered to you that you need. Okay, so we're gonna go over the ground rules. Gimme just one moment, right? So each person, you're gonna have three minutes to speak. We're gonna let let you know when you have one minute left. We're gonna call on people who already signed up in alphabetical order.
Speaker 4 - 6:54:56 PM
Then we're gonna allow the next speaker to speak during the open forum and unmute them. Or they can unmute themselves. We're gonna let PE everyone know when it's their turn and unmute them. And you want to, you can turn on your camera, if not, you don't have to if you're on the telephone. I'm gonna quickly go over some of the instructions for the telephone. Give me one moment. Okay, so if you're on the telephone and you call into the number, you can press one to listen to the meeting. You can le press two. To leave a recorded comment, press three to be added to the speaker queue at, if you put the push the star key, you can hear the options again. So I'm gonna go check to see who's in the queue on the phone to speak if anybody has their hand up. And then we're gonna see if anyone else wants to come off camera, on camera and participate.
Speaker 4 - 6:56:38 PM
Okay? Just taking a moment to check to see who would like to speak. Check the phone queue. We don't have anyone who's raised their hand who wants to speak, or, oh, I think we do have one person. If you would like to speak, please let us know. Make sure you hit the button in the queue, and we will give you an opportunity to speak. Ms. Renia, did you want to speak today? Okay, you don't have anyone yet who wants to go on the record to speak about the plan yet? So we can go ahead and just wait a few more minutes and then we'll move on to our next topic, and we can come back to it again at the next open testimony period for the night.
Speaker 4 - 6:58:42 PM
Okay, well, we're gonna go ahead and move on to the rest of the presentation and come back around again for anybody else who wants to speak tonight. So next, we're gonna go over our federal planning process as part of our 2024 needs assessment process. All right, so we're talking about our federal planning process. We have several key documents that we have to submit to HUD and produce and share with the public. One of the biggest ones is the consolidated plan. It's a plan we submit to HUD every five years in which we assess affordable housing. We assess community development needs. We assess, assess market conditions. It is a data driven document, and it uses place-based investment decisions.
Speaker 4 - 6:59:28 PM
As part of that process. Each year, we must submit to HUD an annual action plan. The action plan has several functions. Number one, it's a planning document. We solicit input from the public citizens advocacy groups, organizations, other stakeholders. It's also a strategy document for our HUD funded programs here in this, in the district. And it is also a management tool. Okay, so on this slide you see an infographic that we produce for our 2022 to 2026 consolidated planning process. It lays out, you know, participation requirements, the performance outcomes we're expecting regarding accessibility, affordability, sustainability, as well as go over the head objections, objectives, as well as reporting. All right. So next we're gonna go a little bit more in depth into the needs assessment planning process. Okay. So for fiscal year 2024, we're anticipating receiving 45 million in funds from hud. That includes the community development block grant funds, the home investment partnerships program, the National Housing Trust Fund, the Recovery Housing Program, the Emergency Solutions Program, as well as the housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program.
Speaker 4 - 7:00:54 PM
So ESG is actually administered by the Department of Administered by the Department of Human Services, dhs, as well as HWA is administered by DC Health. DH c d administers the Recovery Housing Program and coordination with other district agencies. We also administer the, now the National Housing Trust Fund, not to be confused with the Housing Production Trust Fund, as well as the Home Investment Partnerships program, known as home and as well as the Community Development block grant program. So really quickly, I'm going to go over a few of the services and programs that we fund with all of these different funding sources. So give me just a moment before we go too far. Okay. So as you're aware, and the district is seeking to make sure we have plenty of opportunities for everyone when it comes to small business, affordable housing as well. The mission at DHT D is to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing, expand home ownership opportunities, as well as revitalize neighborhoods, promote community development, and provide economic development opportunities.
Speaker 4 - 7:02:09 PM
So districtwide, we use hu, we leverage HUD funds to prevent and homelessness, to help persons with disabilities to provide housing services for residents who may be experience extreme hardship, as well as promoting the economic viability of the city. So with the activities that we do, it's district-wide, and at DH C D, we're working to integrate neighborhoods racially, eth, ethnically, economically, increase the supply of affordable housing, diversify it. The grants that we get from HUD not only include the ones listed on the slide, but we have received coronavirus relief funds as well. But today we're primarily talking about the funds that are on this slide here. So historically, we have funded at G H C D, the HPA program with federal funds. We fund housing counseling. We fund small business technical assistance. In the past, we did fund single family rehab. We've done preservation work using these funds as well.
Speaker 4 - 7:03:20 PM
So we're here to make sure we're servicing all eight wards in the city, helping small businesses and developers. Cause we act as a gap funder through our development finance division, which we do mostly multi-family finance. We do property acquisition and disposition. That's known as a PAD program. We work on small business besides as well. In addition to that, our partners at DC Health and G hs, we support one another to make sure we achieve all of our goals and that our programs run efficiently and effectively. Right? So as part of that process, we are going to launch surveys starting next month in May. Like we did in the past, the topics that we're including are gonna be community development, affordable housing, economic development, broadband adoption, as well as community facilities.
Speaker 4 - 7:04:23 PM
All right? So as part of our topics for the needs assessment engagement, we're gonna reach out to partner agencies on specific matters. We're also gonna consult with private stakeholders. That may include advocacy groups, social service agencies, homeless service providers, as well as housing stakeholders. We are also considering proposing a neighborhood revitalization strategic area that is called a nsa. The NSA is a HUD designation. It's a place based approach to leveraging CBG funds for our specific neighborhoods where we can invest a higher level of those funds in that neighborhood. It allows for flexibility in economic development, housing, and public service activities. Where thinking of targeting specifically Ward seven and eighth, where thinking we are gonna submit this plan to HUD along with our annual action plan in August.
Speaker 4 - 7:05:25 PM
Okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and open it up again to anybody who wants to do public testimony on our needs assessment process. I'm gonna check the phone line as well as to see if anybody else is present here. That's gonna be in the queue. Okay? And we're gonna file the same ground rules three minutes with a one minute warning. There we go. Thank you. Okay, if anyone wants to speak, please raise your hand or flag yourself in the queue and press button two on the telephone. Okay, so far, no one is in the phone queue raising their hand, and no one present in the meeting is doing so either. So we're gonna move forward and tell you how to contact us, share information with us regarding the topics. Can you go back one slide, please? All right. So if you have additional things to share with us, perhaps you don't wanna say it in public in the hearing format.
Speaker 4 - 7:07:35 PM
You can do that through the phone line as well. And just leave a voicemail message right now during the hearing. Or we could contact us at 2 0 2 4 4 2 7 2 3 9 and leave a voicemail message for your comments. We're gonna collect them. We are collecting comments from the public until May 30th, 2023 on both topics. You can also email us at opm dot Please put in the subject line whether it's for fair housing or the needs assessment, or you can mail us your comment directly to Acting Director Green, Colleen Green at GCD at 1800, Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue Southeast.
Speaker 4 - 7:08:21 PM
Additionally, if you wanna stay in touch, you can visit our Sign up for email updates and participate in upcoming 2024 Action Plan Public hearing. That's scheduled for July, 2023. We'll host it again here on Public Input. We don't have an exact date and time, but we are happy to share that information with you as soon as we can. Please make sure you subscribe for updates through public input, as well as on DH cd. We also wanna make you aware that we have the Caper Hearing Recording is here on the public Input website. If you want to review that before you submit your comments on the 2024 needs assessment process, as well as going to, or to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments website, to view the executive summary for the regional offer housing plan, and the takeaway documents, including the two page goals document, and some of the fax sheets, we will make the slide deck available after this event and you can come view this recording later on. Thank you everyone for participating and taking your time to be with us tonight. This hearing is concluded.
Speaker 2 - 7:10:01 PM
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