“Without good staff and funding, we can’t move the needle on poverty and help people.”
That was the message D.C. Housing Authority Executive Director Adrianne Todman gave to approximately 100 people who attended the National Housing Conference’s Annual Budget Forum on Capitol Hill on March 21.
The forum explained to Capitol Hill staffers and policy makers what is included in President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2015 $46.6 billion budget for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Todman was on the panel to put a face on how these proposed funds are used and how decisions made in Congress affect everyday people, DCHA clients.
Federal funding for DCHA’s programming provides families, youth, and veterans with affordable homes, but also with tools they can use for their own personal achievement, Todman said. Public housing is a service delivery platform for a wide variety of issues from job training to healthcare, she said. The need to continue these programs and fully fund them is high.
The president’s proposed budget is 2.6 percent more than fiscal 2014 and about 10.1 percent higher than sequestration levels. While moderate increases are planned for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and capital projects, they may be cut as the bill makes its way through Congress.
“The housing authority in D.C. used to receive $25 million a year for capital projects. Now we receive about $14 million,” Todman said. “We have $1.3 billion in needs. A cut is the opposite direction.”
“Increase the allocation. It means a lot to all the families we serve,” she said to the room full of people who help Congressmembers make these decisions. “I’m looking at some folks here who have the future in their hands, who can make the corrections in these programs.”