DC public housing stock deteriorating due to funding shortfall

HOUSING | That big thunderstorm earlier this week blew a section of roof off a public housing complex in DC, underscoring the DC Housing Authority’s financial shortfall and the dire need for maintenance and upgrades in much of the city’s public housing (WAMU, 8/18):

DCHA — which has 56 properties that are home to about 20,000 people — says it’s short $1.3 billion it needs to maintain, rehabilitate and redevelop 6,500 of the 8,300 housing units it manages… Housing advocates say the funding shortfalls can have big impacts. Public housing residents are more likely to live in substandard conditions, and when conditions become critical, those units could be evacuated altogether. And in cities where affordable housing is at a premium, like D.C., that’s not a good thing. According to DCHA, there are 27,000 people on the waiting list for public housing. Advocates say that every unit taken offline because of deferred maintenance can mean one more family closer to homelessness.

RACE
– In Maryland, none of the 15 companies selected for medical marijuana growing licenses are led by African-Americans. (WaPo, 8/18)

– A task force in Alexandria recommends changing the name of the stretch of U.S. Route 1 currently known as the Jefferson Davis Highway, but maintaining a Confederate memorial statue in Old Town. (WaPo, 8/18)

EQUITY | Why the Olympics and other major sporting events usually increase inequality in the host city (Ford Foundation, 8/1)

PHILANTHROPY
– Danielle Reyes of the Crimsonbridge Foundation explains how foundations can maximize their impact with an effective communications strategy, in a co-authored post on the Exponent Philanthropy blog. (EP, 8/15)

Another Foundation Goes All In on Equity—Not Only the What and Why, But the How (NPQ, 8/18)


Jobs
Analyst | Arabella Advisors – New!
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria – New!
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park
Development Associate | Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Program Assistant | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.


Community Calendar – September 2016
Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.


Meet Pedals, the bipedal black bear and possibly your new spirit animal. 

– Rebekah

Survey looks at perceptions of public safety in the District

DISTRICT 
A newly-released survey of District residents aims to provide a baseline idea of perceptions of public safety throughout the city and encourage greater collaboration with neighborhood police. The report (by the Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), the Council for Court Excellence, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation) finds that residents in Ward 8 feel the least safe compared to residents in other areas of the city. (PR Web, 6/28)

District of Columbia residents who live in Ward 8 feel the least safe of any in the city, are more likely to have observed or experienced a violent crime, and are least likely to trust police than others who live here.

[…]

The survey findings come amid heightened concern about rising rates of homicides in major cities nationally. While data from the DC Metropolitan Police Department show that property crime is down and violent crime is level in the District as compared to a year ago, there has been a troubling spike in homicides. According to a recent report for the Department, between 2014 and 2015, there was a 54% increase in the number of homicides across DC with the increase mostly concentrated in the Northeast and Southeast quadrants. Between January and May of 2016, the number of homicides in Ward 7 tripled from the rate during the same period a year ago.

The full report, Perceptions of Public Safety, can be found here.

HEALTH/COMMUNITY | Jennifer Schitter, principal health planner at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, shares the partnership between their Region Forward Committee and WRAG’s Healthy Communities Working Group on a collective, cross-sector approach to shed light on how social, economic, and environmental factors influence health at the zip code level. (Daily, 6/28)

Related: The Healthy Communities Working Group has also just released their Theory of Change, illustrating a vision toward a better region “where communities across all jurisdictions are thriving, and all people are living their lives to their fullest potential.”

PHILANTHROPY | On Exponent Philanthropy‘s blog, Katherine B. Wright, executive director of the Wright Family Foundation, shares how her family’s organization stepped into the policy arena and witnessed the power of the collective voice of philanthropy. (Philanthrofiles, 6/24)

AGING
– According to a Freddie Mac survey of the housing plans and perceptions of people born before 1961, over five million in this age group anticipate moving to rental units by 2020, further placing pressure on low-income rental inventories. (Freddie Mac, 6/28)

– So you’re thinking about retirement? Find out which areas in the region were recently named among the best cities to do so. (ARLNow, 6/27)

– Nonprofit Work After Retirement? Maybe You Can Make It Pay (NYT, 6/24)


It is with a mix of sadness and excitement that I must share that today will be my last day at WRAG and writing The Daily WRAG :(  Rebekah Seder will be taking over once again – on a modified schedule – as I will be making my transition to another organization in the WRAG family. Sincere thanks to anyone who has ever responded to any of the weird things that I’ve posted down here, or has sent a kind note to let us know they are reading. I will certainly miss my colleagues I’ve had the great privilege of working with over the past couple years and am so happy to say that I won’t be going far. 

– Ciara

Annie E. Casey Foundation releases 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book

YOUTH
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released their 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book, looking at children’s well-being across various indicators nationally and within each state. For youth in the District, the data show some gains and some losses (WCP, 6/21):

The analysis presents a mixed-bag for District youth, who have seen significantly higher rates of reading and math proficiency from 2007 to 2015 as well as a slight uptick in health-insurance enrollments from 2008 to 2014. Still, the portion of those living in poverty—26 percent, as of two years ago—remained the same as it was in 2008, with one in ten teens (roughly 3,000) neither in school nor working in 2014.

In the report‘s overall state rankings, Virginia comes in at number 11 and Maryland lands at number 16.

OpinionWhat does it mean when five D.C. kids are shot and there’s no outcry? (WaPo, 6/21)

– According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs a middle-income family (with two parents and no more than five children) $245,340 to raise a child born in 2013 in America from birth to 18-years-old. While 2013 is the most recent year for which data is available, you can use the interactive tool to see how those numbers have changed for low-, middle-, and high-income families since 1960. (WSJ, 6/22)

SOCIAL PROFITS/PHILANTHROPY | In the newest video in their Philanthropy Lessons video series, Exponent Philanthropy staff and grantees discuss the value of the all-important site visit. (Chronicle, 6/22)

IMMIGRATION/VIRGINIACounty Board Backs Resolution for Undocumented Immigrant Driver’s Licenses (ARLnow, 6/22)

CSR/COMMUNITY | The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has extended the deadline for the 17th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards submissions to June 30.  The 2016 winners will be announced at the Citizens Awards Gala on November 17 at the end of their annual conference.

EDUCATION 
– A new University of Virginia study asks the question, “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?” and offers the first national glimpse at how expectations of the youngest students have changed quite a bit since 1998. (NPR, 6/21)

– Can ‘early warning systems’ keep children from dropping out of school? (WaPo, 6/21)


If you were in Reston yesterday, you saw nearly every type of weather there is. 

– 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

Do More 24 in full swing!

COMMUNITY/REGION 
Today marks the United Way of the National Capital Area‘s annual Do More 24 event – a 24-hour online giving campaign that kicked off at midnight and will end at 11:59 pm. Local, regional, and national social profit organizations with a presence in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are participating in the focused day of giving to create maximum impact as a community. The award winners will be announced tomorrow. Click here to remain up-to-date on the total raised – and to give!

CSR
– The Chronicle of Philanthropy presents a special report and interactive database on giving from America’s biggest companies. Bank of America, Citi, Capital OneJPMorgan Chase, PNC, and Wells Fargo are among the companies highlighted for their corporate giving and social good efforts. (Chronicle, 6/1) Subscription required

– Socially Responsible Companies Are Big Draw for Workers, Study Says (Chronicle, 6/1) Subscription required

PHILANTHROPY
Exponent Philanthropy has launched a new blog series in honor of their 20th anniversary that will focus on reflections of founders, early board members, and others with extensive careers in the field of philanthropy. In this blog post, Exponent Philanthropy founding member, former board chair, and executive director of The Americana Foundation Marty Fluharty discusses why it is so imperative for foundations to break down silos. (PhilanthroFiles, 6/2)

– Demanding That Nonprofits Not Pay For Overhead Is Preventing Them From Doing Good (Co.Exist, 6/1)

DISTRICT
– The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development has announced the launch of a new initiative, the “June Housing Bloom,” aimed at increasing the number of affordable housing units in the city (WCP, 6/1):

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is […] putting out solicitations for the development of 25 District-owned properties in Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8 to get the month-long initiative started. The offerings are part of a five-pronged strategy to reduce neighborhood blight, according to DHCD: producing affordable housing, preserving affordable housing, boosting homeownership, ending homelessness, and making use of currently vacant properties. DHCD will hold an informational meeting about the sites at its HQ on June 22, with a proposal deadline of Sept. 1.

– In Search of TANF Reform (CHF, 5/27)

VIRGINIA | VideoWhy Virginia’s Restoration of Voting Rights Matters (Atlantic, 5/31)

MENTAL HEALTH/IMPLICIT BIAS | For many people of color struggling with their mental health and seeking the aid of psychotherapy, roadblocks to access can often prevent them from getting much-needed help. A new study suggests that implicit bias on the part of psychologists’ offices may be the main barrier to some people receiving proper mental healthcare. (Atlantic, 6/1)


Do you have any strange reading habits? You are not alone in the Greater Washington region.

– Ciara

Plans for Prince George’s Regional Medical Center may be scaled back

HEALTH
Amid concerns that the upcoming Prince George’s County Regional Medical Center project may be too large, regulators in Maryland are calling for some cutbacks. The center, originally expected to open in 2017, may open in 2020. (WBJ, 5/24)

[The] planned partnership for a new 231-bed teaching hospital at Largo Town Center is part of a larger redevelopment plan that county leaders say will transform health care for residents and revitalize nearby business. The hospital would replace Dimensions’ [Healthcare System’s] long-struggling flagship hospital, Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly.

– In this interview, Chief Scientific Officer Diane Bovenkamp, Ph.D., of the BrightFocus Foundation discusses the science and therapeutic research they are funding to address Alzheimer’s disease. (Real World Health Care, 5/25)

– According to a new report from the United Health Foundation, comparing the current health status of those ages 50-64 with those of the same age in 1999, this next generation of senior citizens is expected to have more health concerns. The research has potentially serious implications on future health care costs for individuals and taxpayers overall. (NPR, 5/25)

PHILANTHROPY | In the latest installment of Exponent Philanthropy‘s Philanthropy Lessons video series, funders  discuss how philanthropy must bring value beyond dollars. (EP, May 2016)

LGBT/HOMELESSNESS | DC Shelters frustrated by lack of funding for LGBT homeless youth (Metro Weekly, 5/23)

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | A new analysis by the Urban Institute examines improvements in test scores by District students. Despite the gains, significant achievement gaps remain among D.C. students. (WCP, 5/24)

Related: Education funders are invited to the next session in WRAG’s 2016 public education speaker series, focused on the role of background knowledge in literacy. More details here.

DISTRICT/ECONOMY | Fans of interactive, at-a-glance data, rejoice! The DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development has released a new Ward Indicators Tool as part of their  Economic Intelligence Dashboard, to provide a source for finding demographic and investment data by ward. (Technical.ly, 5/23)


I don’t know about you, but I have officially run out of excuses for not wanting to go to the gym.

– Ciara

D.C. Council eyes overhaul of shelter plan

HOMELESSNESS/DISTRICT
A supermajority of the D.C. Council announced plans to overhaul Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposed shelter plan, citing “a waste of tax dollars” as a primary reason. The Council shared details of their own proposal (WaPo, 5/16):

Instead, the city would build five shelters on public land and empower Bowser (D) to purchase property or use eminent domain to take control of two others. The city would save about $165 million compared with the mayor’s plan, [Council Chairman Phil] Mendelson said.

[…]

Mendelson said the council’s plan would locate more families closer to Metro and other transit options, and streamline zoning approvals so the city’s dilapidated shelter at D.C. General might be able to close in two years. Most important, taxpayers would realize significant savings, he said.

D.C. is Reaching Hundreds of Families Before They Become Homeless (WCP, 5/16)

PHILANTHROPY | Exponent Philanthropy shares this open letter to foundations stressing the importance of nonprofit infrastructure organizations. (PhilanthroFiles, 5/17)

POVERTYConsumer Health Foundation‘s Kendra Allen discusses updates to D.C.’s looming TANF cliff with D.C. Department of Human Services Director Laura Zeilinger. (CHF, 5/16)

TRANSIT/REGIONA higher tax for Metro? Regionwide campaign to back dedicated funding expected in the fall (WBJ, 5/16)

YOUTH/CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Children’s Law Center recently sat down with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the District’s changing landscape for young people and his thoughts on how the D.C. justice system has improved for them over the years. (Children’s Law Center, 5/16)


Are you a picky eater? It’s not your fault. You can blame science for that.

– Ciara