April 25, 2011

New Budget Info and YOU!

The more we learn about the Mayor’s proposed budget, the less we like. We here at Bread for the City believe it’s the responsibility of the DC government to fund the safety net programs that keep families healthy and make our city strong. Instead of this vision, our Mayor proposed a budget with alarming and disproportionate divestment. Two dollars out of every $3 cut in the budget comes from human services, even though these programs make up only one fourth of the total budget. We need more money – not less – for homeless services, affordable child care, adult literacy, mental health services, affordable housing, and support for disabled residents.

Here’s more information on the specific issues our clients and staff are working on right now:

The Mayor wants to cut cash assistance for about 7,000 families with children. The benefit for a mother and two children would be reduced to $257 per month, a reduction that's on top of cuts enacted last December. Also, household where parents don’t attend the required work or work-readiness activities would lose all TANF benefits, whereas in the past children remained in the case load even if their parents weren't fulfilling the requirements. This policy change that harms children rather than supporting TANF recipients meet their goals.

The Mayor proposes major cuts to housing programs.
- Elimination of the Local Rent Supplement Program by not issuing any new rental vouchers, which creates a savings of $4 million in FY2012.
- Cut of $18 million from the Housing Production Trust Fund, which is used for construction of affordable housing and loans for tenants to buy their buildings.

Interim Disability Assistance Program
This program provides temporary cash assistance as DC residents with a disability wait for approval or denial for SSI. The budget eliminates this vital program.

If you’d like to join us in our fight to save safety net funding, come to a Bread for the City Budget Lunch. They happen every Wednesday in our Southeast Center and every Friday in our Northwest Center. We eat at 11:30 am, then start sharing information and working on projects from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. It’s a great way to meet our clients and staff, and spend an hour each week getting things done. If you'd like to learn more, contact me at jpodschun(at)breadforthecity.org or 202-553-7248.

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