Make DC an Anti-Poverty City

As Mayor I would:

As mayor I would:
  • Increase affordable housing by regulating requirements for banks funding development projects in the city
  • Create checks and balances for the use of housing production trust fund resources to eliminate misappropriations
  • Streamline DHS and homeless service processes and create online services
  • Enhance partnerships with Veteran Affairs
  • Provide sensitivity training to federal and local law enforcement agencies with the assistance of social workers
  • Invest in job training for the present and future workforce

Rodney Red Grant has been a pioneer in the fight for improved livable income and wages. He has created opportunities for gainful employment across sectors within the entertainment, nonprofit, and public relations industries. As a Native Washingtonian who was raised between both Tyler House Apts. and the Penn Branch neighborhood, Rodney knows firsthand the difference in services and resources available from one side of the city to the other. As Mayor, fighting income inequality and ending cycles of poverty will be the cornerstone of Rodney’s plan for the District’s recovery and a brighter, more equitable future.

A. Median Family Income (MFI) (Formerly AMI, Area Median Income)

The Median Family Income (MFI) is the formula the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses to determine, based on geographic proximity, the median (middle) household income. The MFI is the predominant factor used in determining the income limits and rental rates for every housing program in the United States. For most cities, the MFI can provide a realistic view of the economic conditions facing families.

1
Neighborhoods:
Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Kalorama Triangle, LeDroit Park, Mount Pleasant, Park View, Pleasant Plains, Shaw, U Street NW corridor.
2
Neighborhoods:
Burleith, Chinatown, Downtown, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Georgetown, Logan Circle, National Mall, Penn Quarter, Shaw, Kalorama, U Street NW corridor, West End
3
Neighborhoods:
American University Park, Cathedral Heights, Chevy Chase, Cleveland Park, Forest Hills, Foxhall Crescent, Foxhall Village, Friendship Heights, Glover Park, Kent, Massachusetts Avenue Heights, McLean Gardens, North Cleveland Park, Observatory Circle, Palisades, Spring Valley, Tenleytown, Wakefield, Wesley Heights, Woodley Park
4
Neighborhoods:
Barnaby Woods, Brightwood, Brightwood Park, Chevy Chase, Colonial Village, Crestwood, Fort Totten, Hawthorne, Lamond-Riggs, Manor Park, Petworth, Queens Chapel, Shepherd Park, 16th Street Heights, Takoma
5
Neighborhoods:
Arboretum, Bloomingdale, Brentwood, Brookland, Carver-Langston, Eckington, Edgewood, Fort Lincoln, Fort Totten, Gateway, Ivy City, Langdon, Michigan Park, North Michigan Park, Pleasant Hill, Queens Chapel, Stronghold, Trinidad, Truxton Circle, Woodridge
6
Neighborhoods:
Barney Circle, Capitol Hill, Capitol Riverfront, Hill East, H Street NE corridor, Kingman Park, L’Enfant Plaza, Mount Vernon Triangle, Navy Yard, Near Northeast, NoMa, Shaw, Southwest Waterfront
7
Neighborhoods:
Benning Heights, Benning Ridge, Benning, Burrville, Capitol View, Civic Betterment, Deanwood, Dupont Park, Eastland Gardens, Fairfax Village, Fairlawn, Fort Davis Park, Good Hope, Greenway, Hillcrest, Kenilworth, Kingman Park, Lincoln Heights, Marshall Heights, Mayfair, Naylor Gardens, Northeast Boundary, Penn Branch, Randle Highlands, River Terrace, Skyland, Twining
8
Neighborhoods:
Anacostia, Barry Farm, Bellevue, Buena Vista, Congress Heights, Douglass, Fairlawn, Garfield Heights, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Shipley Terrace, Skyland, Washington Highlands, Woodland

For DC, the story varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, or in some cases even from street to street. In the SW quadrant, for instance, the MFI is achieved through a calculation which includes our neighbors in Fairfax, Virginia,  who are the wealthiest in their state. In NE, those numbers encompass the income of our neighbors in Maryland which are among the wealthiest counties in their state. A Grant Administration will lobby HUD for a more appropriate housing formula that reflects the financial constraints facing many residents in the District of Columbia.

As Mayor, Rodney will Increase Affordable Housing regulating the requirements for banks that fund development projects in the District. We must push to reformat the MFI formula that the banks use because the formula is not designed to consider the true median income of families in the 8 wards of DC. We should have the MFI formula reflect our city per ward not including other states with scores of affluent residents.

B. Create checks and balances for the use of housing production trust fund resources to eliminate misappropriations

The Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) is an allotment of funds used to build affordable housing in DC. Established in 2001, the fund has helped to produce or preserve more than 10,000 units of affordable housing. The District is home to a multitude of federally funded programs aimed to increase affordability, but the HPTF is quite different. 

The HPTF is funded completely through funds raised within and by the District of Columbia. In design, it hopes to close the gap between the funding sources for affordable housing and the costs of actually building affordable housing. 

The District funds the HPTF using two primary sources. The main source of funding is the deed transfer and recordation tax, which is the tax paid every time a property or parcel of land is sold. Since 2003, 15% of these tax proceeds are dedicated to the HPTF. Whenever that isn’t enough, we use the general fund to close our own funding gap. The general fund is the budgeted fund for the operation of city agencies and is subject to approval annually. This means budgetary priorities do not always align with the city’s housing needs and the fund does not always get what it needs from either source.

In recent years, the HPTF has not only dealt with budgetary shortfalls (tax proceeds are reliant upon the market) but there have also been instances of misappropriation and misspending of allocated funds. Last year, the Office of the Inspector General released a report which detailed the misspending of $82 million in funds allocated for extremely low income families. 

Developers simply aren’t being held accountable. 

The only manipulable variables are those actually funding the development projects. As Mayor, Rodney will improve the monitoring system of the HPTF to include checkpoints conducted by the financing entity. This will ensure that the District receives exactly what we pay for in terms of housing for our most vulnerable residents. The Grant Administration will create a checks and balance system for monitoring the awarding of District development projects so that the most important bids are awarded to the best prepared applicant.

C. Streamline DHS and homeless service processes and create online services

The Fiscal Year 2023 Fair Shot budget includes $31 million in Homeward DC to end chronic homelessness and more than $114 million to replace shelters.  Washington, D.C. has the highest rate of homelessness among individual men at 104.6, double the next highest rate in California. The rate for individual homeless women in D.C. is 34.4

To avoid overcrowded social services buildings and overworked employees, we will limit the need for in person services. Distributing a good portion of the budget towards multiple community based organizations who will conduct web based financial aid programs within each ward will supply more financial resources directly to DC residents. The organizations funded through this budgetary line item will use the funds to assist in daily management of:

  • Emergency Eviction Tenants 
  • Returning Citizens 
  • Homelessness I.D attainment 
  • Emergency Utility Assistance 

The District has done a capable job of limiting the number of homeless women and single mothers (and their families). DC must implement more transitional housing programs for single men, returning male citizens, single men with children, and homeless men in general. These funded web based financial aid programs will utilize web access for all DC citizens to obtain daily resources. This will eliminate the cause and effect of today’s transitional housing programs, which force low income families to separate, often requiring a mother to be single for the family to be admitted. The result is sustained homelessness among residents who often live in one of the city’s many encampments.

D. Enhance partnerships with Veteran Affairs

Washington DC is home to 10 permanent military bases, and is surrounded by several others in neighboring Maryland, and Virgina. The hundreds of thousands of  service men and women that live, work, and are transient in the district are integral to D.C. ‘s culture and economy. Honoring the men and women who serve our country has and will remain a top priority in my work as a humanitarian. Unfortunately nearly 13% of veterans in D.C. live below the poverty line and the unemployment rate among veterans is more than 10%.  As mayor, I will work with local and federal agencies and resources which cater to veterans, making D.C. a premier destination for active duty, reserve, and retired military professionals to call home.

Washington D.C is headquarters to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Our proximity to government agencies is an unparalleled resource that must be engaged for the benefit of our citizens. As mayor I plan to enhance partnerships with veteran-led-and-centered organizations to : 

  • Eliminate veterans living in poverty by creating incentives for employers to provide District veterans with high paying and meaningful employment to reduce the  number of veterans living in poverty 
  • Encourage Veterans to become business owners through  programs and grants funded by public-private partnerships to provide seed funding for burgeoning entrepreneurs  
  • Transform the Department of Small and Local Business Development To serve as a business incubator and to provide training and resources for veterans starting business in the District
  • Partner and fund existing non-profits and veteran organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for veterans through re-housing programs for homeless veterans, and mental health service programs for veterans dealing with trauma 
  • Engage Veteran Service organizations to identify areas of most need for our veteran community and invest in programs and organizations that directly engage those issues
  • Create a liaison between the District and the Federal Veterans Administration to advocate for district residents claiming veterans benefits and open communication with the federal government for pressing concerns of District residents

Best soldiers in the worlds 

indelible gratitude,

E. Invest in job` training for the present and future workforce

H.U.F (Handle Ur Future) is focused on extending our free accredited certification resources to all DC residents to create and enhance career opportunities. H.U.F certifications will open new career endeavors for High school graduates, college students, and small business entrepreneurs, throughout the district by offering Resume Building, Goal Coaching (extension of program EX: Instructors will guide future entrepreneurs into building a budget plan from scratch) H.U.F. will target the DC resident who longs to further their knowledge but lacks the time, and/or steers away from debt that undoubtedly comes along with going back to school, by offering various weekly seminars to build the knowledge of our local residents. Seminars will focus on specific topics like project management, and other certifications available with our instructors; At the duration of the seminar, residents will have hands-on step by step study guide through the entire course to:

  • Take the test and become certified at no cost to the community. Focus on raising awareness to the work environment to Decrease work prejudice 
  • The Project Management Certificate grew in value PMP certification worth has increased by 25%.
  • 20 percent increase salary
  • 16.50 minimum pay wage negotiation 

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