Six policy recommendations to preserve affordable housing in the District

HOUSING
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s “Housing Preservation Strike Force” has released six new recommendations for preserving affordable housing units in the city to keep them accessible for lower-income residents (WCP, 6/13):

According to the mayor’s office, the strike force’s six recommendations are:

  • Establishing a preservation unit within a D.C. agency to identify specific affordable-housing opportunities, and to create a database of affordable-housing units
  • Funding a “public-private preservation fund” to “facilitate early investments in preservation deals”
  • Launching a program to renovate affordable housing in “small properties” of between five and 50 units
  • Drafting additional regulations for the District Opportunity to Purchase Act, which allows D.C. to purchase properties that risk losing their affordable-housing subsidies
  • Incentivizing residents and developers to take advantage of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act through “predevelopment activities, legal services, third-party reports, acquisition bridge financing,” and data-collection
  • Creating programs designed to benefit seniors, such as “tenant-based vouchers or other rental assistance”

– The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development has launched a new pilot program to preserve affordable housing in ward 8, as neighborhoods east-of-the river expect economic development over the next several years. (WCP, 6/10)

PUTTING RACISM ON THE TABLE | While the Putting Racism on the Table learning series has drawn to a close, the lessons learned will linger on in the minds of the attendees. In this blog post, WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland asks Julie Wagner of CareFirst and Terri Copeland of PNC to share their deepest insights and major takeaways from the full series. (Daily, 6/13)

EQUITY
– DC Fiscal Policy Institute discusses the importance of approving the Improving Access to Identity Documents Act that would allow District residents with incomes below 200 percent of poverty to obtain birth certificates, driver’s licenses, or ID cards at no charge. (DCFPI, 6/10)

– The Hell of Applying for Government Benefits (Atlantic, 6/12)

LGBT/DISCRIMINATION | In light of Sunday morning’s mass shooting in Orlando, The Atlantic takes a look at how, despite the advances in LGBT rights throughout the years, many still find themselves subject to violence at alarming rates. (Atlantic, 6/13)

PHILANTHROPY 
– Nonprofit Quarterly presents a two-part series authored by president of the F.B. Heron Foundation, Clara Miller, in which she discusses how they’ve worked to build a foundation that continues to evolve and engage with the larger economy. Check out part 1 and part 2. (NPQ, 6/8 and 6/9)

– Funding Infrastructure: A Smart Investment for All (SSIR, 6/10)

ECONOMYWhich U.S. Cities Suffer the Most During a Recession? (City Lab, 6/9)


Tonight is Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Which team are you rooting for? Can it be the Cavs? Please!?

– Ciara

Where expenses for those in poverty continue to add up

POVERTY
We already know that living in poverty can lead to exorbitant costs for families, and now, researchers are looking into what has come to be known as “energy poverty” – paying more than six percent of a household’s income on energy-related expenses (Atlantic, 6/8):

The threshold beyond which experts believe energy ceases to be “affordable” is 6 percent of a household’s income. But for many lower-income households, even with declining energy prices, paying less than that benchmark is a fantasy. DeAndrea Newman Salvador, an economist and the founder of The Renewable Energy Transition Initiative, a nonprofit, studied the cost of home utilities in her native North Carolina and found that energy expenditures among low-earning households were staggeringly high.

[…]

Citing data from the Department of Health and Human Services, Salvador added that the disparity was particularly prevalent among “people who were below 50 percent of the poverty level.” She found that many in this group “were spending roughly 35 percent of their income toward home-energy bills.”

– With new research showing that, without any other social service interventions, children in poverty do better as adults when they move to low-poverty neighborhoods, DC Fiscal Policy Institute breaks down why creating more mixed-income neighborhoods in the city is so important. (DCFPI, 6/8)

– The big problem with one of the most popular assumptions about the poor (WaPo, 6/8)

COMMUNITY | Former program officer at Exponent Philanthropy Hanh Le joins the Weissberg Foundation as their new executive director. Learn more about Hanh and the foundation’s participation in the Putting Racism on the Table series! (Weissberg, 6/7)

HOMELESSNESS/YOUTH | Funders Together to End Homelessness CEO Amanda Andere shares some key action items she went home with after attending the recent White House Policy Briefing on Youth Homelessness. (Funders Together, 6/9)

WORKFORCE/RACIAL JUSTICE | On Consumer Health Foundation‘s blog, former board member Liz Ben-Ishai interviews Ron Harris of the the Twin Cities-based group Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, where they discuss the intersections of race and the fair job scheduling movement. (CHF, 6/9)

PHILANTHROPY/IMPACT INVESTING
– Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation, takes on four big myths about impact investing. (Case, 6/8)

– OpinionImpact Investing: 5 Lessons for Putting Your Money Where Your Mission Is (Chronicle, 6/9) Subscription required


Find out what everyone else has been watching on Netflix.

– Ciara

Nationally, rates of disconnected youth vary widely

ECONOMY/WORKFORCE
A new Brookings Institution analysis examines data on unemployment among teens and young adults across the U.S. Many of America’s youth remain “disconnected” – not working and not in school. (Brookings, 5/24)

Nationally, an estimated 3 million young people aged 16–24 (7.6 percent) are disconnected. The majority of these young people are between 20 and 24 years old, suggesting that the problem becomes more acute after young people are of an age to have graduated high school. They are disproportionately people of color. Rates of disconnection vary widely by metropolitan area, and in some places, young blacks and Latinos are up to 3-to-6 times more likely to be disconnected than young whites.

[…]

Some of the metro areas with the highest employment rates among prime-age adults did not have particularly high rates among teens and young adults, including Washington, D.C.; Hartford, Conn.; Raleigh, N.C.; Albany, N.Y.; and Austin, Tex. These places all have relatively highly educated populations, and the disproportionately high employment rate among adults aged 25–54 relative to younger workers probably reflects that these metros import workers from other places.

– With an estimated two-thirds of all venture capital money finding its way into just six major U.S. metro areas, according to a new study, are America’s rural towns and smaller areas being completely left behind in the economy – further contributing to the problems of income and geographic inequality? (City Lab, 5/24 and WaPo, 5/23)

– America’s Road to Economic Opportunity Is Paved With Infrastructure Jobs (City Lab, 5/18)

WRAG/SOCIAL PROFITS | Booz Allen Hamilton‘s Laura Dempsey and WRAG’s Katy Moore share how the upcoming Nonprofit Summer Learning Series came to be, and why those looking to build solid relationships with the local funding community should sign up to attend. (Daily, 5/24)

PUBLIC HEALTH | Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer of the de Beaumont Foundation, discusses the importance of holistic approaches and multisectoral collaboration in effectively facing complicated health challenges. (HuffPo, 5/18)

HOMELESSNESS/DISTRICT | DC Fiscal Policy Institute looks into the progress the District has made in lowering the numbers of homeless families, while examining the work that still lies ahead. (DCFPI, 5/24)

PHILANTHROPYAfrican American museum’s fundraising touches deep history among donors (WaPo, 5/24)

POVERTY | A small new study takes the research behind the ways in which one’s neighborhood can shape their level of future economic mobility a step even further and finds links between one’s city block and successful outcomes. (Atlantic, 5/23)

CSR | The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is accepting nominations for their 17th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards, recognizing the most accomplished social and community initiatives within the business community.

HOUSINGWashington’s Supply of Entry-Level Homes Is Shrinking (Washingtonian, 5/24)


Here’s one way to deal with train delays.

– Ciara

Visualizing the affordable housing deficit across the U.S.

HOUSING
A new report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC ) finds that each county in the U.S. is lacking in affordable housing, and there is no state where someone earning a minimum wage salary could afford to rent a two-bedroom apartment at market rate. NLIHC also created a map to visualize the number of affordable units available to low-income renters by each state. (City Lab, 3/28)

Using 2014 American Community Survey data, the report’s authors calculated the number of units families earning below 30 percent of the median income in their areas could rent comfortably, without devoting more than 30 percent of their income towards housing.

[…]

Overall, the report found that only 31 such units existed for every set of 100 poor families in the U.S. And this deficit increased as families got poorer (only 17 affordable units were available per 100 families in the bottom 15 percent, for example)—and turned into a surplus for those at the higher end of the income ladder.

– At a recent affordable housing forum, vice president and Mid-Atlantic Market Leader of Enterprise Community Partners and WRAG Board member David Bowers, discussed challenges and strategies surrounding affordable housing and community development in the region. (Bisnow, 3/28)

– DC Fiscal Policy Institute examines Mayor Bowser’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget and what it could mean for affordable housing and rental assistance for District residents. (DCFPI, 3/28)

– Living From Rent To Rent: Tenants On The Edge Of Eviction (NPR, 3/29)

FOOD 
– Meal delivery services are a great convenience, but only when you live in the right zip code. Many of these services don’t extend their offerings to communities that could truly benefit from broader meal options – communities considered food deserts. (DCist, 3/24)

– Organic Foods Still Aren’t As Mass Market As You Might Think (NPR, 3/28)

WOMEN/WORKFORCE | A new report finds that 24 of the 25 largest U.S. cities saw the average rate of growth for women-owned businesses surpass the national average. Further, the report found a funding gap between women and men-owned firms that, if decreased, would strengthen the economy significantly. Citi Community Development is named as a partner in helping female business owners reach their goals. (City Lab, 3/24)


Check out some great photos of the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

– Ciara

A shrinking middle class in the District

DISTRICT
D.C. residents have experienced a growing income divide with a declining middle class since 2000, which begs the question – “What happens to a city when its middle class disappears?” (GGW, 3/17)

DC has become a textbook example of a place with a missing middle class.

The number of households making between $25,000 and $74,999 has gone down, and there are far less of them than both high-income ($150,000+) and low-income (less than $25,000) households. There has also been a big uptick in households making $100,000 or more.

Who Pays The Price When Child Care Subsidies Are Too Low? (DCFPI, 3/21)

HEALTH | Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer of the de Beaumont Foundation discusses the need for better collaboration between health care and public health in a recent blog post. (HuffPo, 3/10)

HOMELESSNESS | Take another look at last year’s figures on homelessness in the region based on statistics compiled by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. (Washington Times, 3/17)

EDUCATION/VIRGINIASeparate but equal? Wealthy county’s plan would concentrate low-income, Hispanic students (WaPo, 3/20)

ARTS | S&R Foundation has announced the launch of their new pilot Studios Program at the Fillmore School. The program offers six months of free studio space to local D.C.-based artists working in a variety of disciplines, who will have the opportunity take part in a public exhibition if accepted into the program. The deadline for applications is April 6.


Today is one busy day! If you haven’t planted a tree by now, you’re already behind!

– Ciara

New report on the early care and education economy in the District

CHILDREN/EDUCATION
A new report from DC Appleseed and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute explores the costs of delivering child care for infants and toddlers, and the experiences of early care and education providers in the District (DCFPI, 3/10):

Until now, no one has assessed how much it costs early care and education (ECE) providers to meet the level of quality that the District requires, or how providers are able to maintain quality while serving families who depend on child care subsidy payments from the government. DC Appleseed and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute have collaborated to produce a study to better understand these realities.

The full report is titled, “Solid Footing: Reinforcing the Early Care and Education Economy for Infants and Toddlers in DC.”

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY | Catherine Oidtman, Philanthropy Fellow at the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, reflects on what she’s learned about going “beyond dollars” in philanthropy. (Daily, 3/14)

Related for WRAG Members: We are now accepting applications from WRAG members interested in hosting Philanthropy Fellows this fall. For more information about this program and how to apply, click here.

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Lynne and Joe Horning and the Horning Family Fund, housed at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, for being honored with the 2016 Civic Spirit Award! The Horning Family Fund will be honored this evening at the 2016 Annual Celebration of Philanthropy.

POVERTY/INEQUALITY
– Opinion: Judith Sandalow of The Children’s Law Center offers her thoughts on why the District’s safety net program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), is so vital to low-income children and their families. (WaPo, 3/11)

Related: Ed Lazere, executive director of the DCFPI, recently shared with Daily WRAG readers what legislation to extend TANF could mean to so many households in the District. (Daily, 3/3)

– A pair of economists have found that students in poverty growing up in areas of high income inequality are shown to be much more likely to drop out of high school than students growing up in areas with less inequality. The results were found to be especially true for young boys living in high-inequality states. (WSJ, 3/10)

– Following their recent survey on Americans’ perceptions of race and opportunity in the U.S., The Atlantic breaks down some of the stark differences in opinion. (Atlantic, 3/10)

HOUSING/VIRGINIA | Contentious Ramsey property site in Alexandria clears another hurdle (WTOP 3/13)

AGING | Aging-in-place options most popular with baby boomers (WaPo, 3/14)

JOBS | The National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers is hiring a Project Director to help increase their size, scope and national impact. This is a virtual opportunity. For more information or to apply, click here.


Happy Pi Day – a great excuse to indulge in pizzas and/or pies, and more.

– Ciara

Lowering the price of produce may save both money and lives

FOOD
At an American Heart Association epidemiology meeting this week, researchers are sharing a new food policy computer model that demonstrates how the pricing of healthy foods affects health outcomes (NPR, 3/2):

Researchers from the [U.K.’s Imperial College] and Tufts University created a tool called the U.S. IMPACT Food Policy Model that included projections of U.S. demographics and cardiovascular death rates to 2030. They then combined the data with current and projected fruit and vegetable intake figures. The model allowed the team to simulate the effects of different policies on eating habits.

[…]

So far, no national studies have been done looking at how financial incentives drive healthy eating, the researchers say. But a smaller study conducted in Massachusetts between 2011-2012 mirrored the findings of the modeling done at Tufts and Imperial College.

Most Urban Farmers Aren’t Making a Living (City Lab, 3/1)

DISTRICT/POVERTY
– Last month, panelists from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Children’s Law Center, DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI), and So Others Might Eat, spoke to WRAG members about the impact of proposed changes to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program on D.C. families. Now, Ed Lazere, executive director of the DCFPI, shares with Daily WRAG readers just what legislation to extend TANF could mean to so many households in the District. (Daily, 3/3)

– In their Matters@Hand thought leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND looks at the demographic and income data of newcomers to the District, and explores whether or not the city is currently able to accommodate those new residents. (Helping Hands Blog, 3/3)

HOUSING
America’s Insidious Eviction Problem (Atlantic, 3/1)

– A growing number of major U.S. cities are looking to micro apartments to bring about more affordable housing options, but not without some criticism. (New Yorker, 3/2)

TRANSIT/REGION
– Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has announced a winning bid to build and operate the Purple Line project. The light-rail line is expected to begin service in the spring of 2022. (WBJ, 3/2)

D.C. ranks high among the worst cities for commuting (WBJ, 3/3)


In Milwaukee, a potentially dark, sordid tale of a baseball-loving dog named Hank.

– Ciara