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District Seeks Available Rental Units for Permanent Supportive Housing Program

Thursday, April 9, 2009
The District is seeking immediate availability of apartment units that meet the criteria to house families under the DC’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSHP).

(Washington, DC) - The Government of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>District of Columbia is seeking immediate availability of apartment units that meet the following criteria to house families under the District’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSHP). The PSHP is an initiative developed to provide permanent housing and supportive services to chronically homeless to ensure housing stabilization, maximum levels of self-sufficiency and an overall better quality of life for this population. Through the PSHP, the families are provided ongoing rental subsidies and case management services.  Case managers work with program participants to address barriers (mental health, substance abuse, unemployment, etc.) through connection to support services.  Case managers also serve as liaisons between program participants and landlord.  Approximately 80 apartment units are being sought at this time.
Specific Need: 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom, 5 bedroom and 6-bedroom apartment units or homes. The apartment units should be located in privately owned and managed buildings/complexes throughout the District of Columbia. We are seeking apartment units in all quadrants of the District. There is a preference for apartment units that are located in buildings that are mixed income in terms of the income levels of the tenants. We are also seeking units near public transportation in addition to accessible units for persons with disabilities that meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines.  Units that include all utilities are highly preferred.  Owners/landlords who have multiply units/apartment complexes throughout the District are encouraged to participate.   

Rental Term: Standard term of one (1) year with the option to renew.

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Rental Subsidy: Unless otherwise stated, all units will be subsidized through the District of Columbia’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCVP) administered by the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA).  Units and participants must adhere to the standards and policies that govern the HCVP subsidy.

Payment Standard:  Every year, The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) establishes the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for each jurisdiction around the country. HUD analyzes the open rental market to make its determination of what they consider a fair rent in each bedroom size for that area. Generally, HUD increases the FMR’s annually. Every year the HCVP establishes voucher Payment Standards according to bedroom size. However, effective October 1, 2008, the HUD published FMR’s for the District of Columbiadecreased by an average of 3 percent in each bedroom size (indicating the open rental amounts declined in the District of Columbia). The Voucher Payment Standard (the amount we are authorized to pay up to on behalf of a participant) is set annually between 90 percent - 110 percent of the HUD published FMR. Based on the unique differences in the rental market rates that vary from submarket to submarket in the District, DCHA has elected to set the Voucher Payment Standards at 110 percent of the HUD FMR’s. The decline in rentals, notwithstanding the 110 percent ceiling set for the Payment Standards, does mean that based on the new market rents, DCHA may not be able to approve rents at the same level as in years past – even in the same complex.

Payment Standards as of December 2008

Unit-size  Payment Standard
 Two-bedroom  Up to $1,456
 Three-bedroom  Up to $1,878
 Four-bedroom  Up to $2,458
 Five-bedroom  Up to $2,826
 Six-bedroom  Up to $3,195

These amounts are maximum caps for units regardless of location or amenities. 

Also, the approved rent amount for any specific unit is not determined by the maximum cap rent amounts listed above but determined by the Rent Reasonableness determination.

Rent Reasonableness: The purpose of Rent Reasonableness analysis is a determination of what the reasonable rent for a unit should be and is utilized to assure that:

  • A fair rent is paid for apartment units;
  • The PSHP does not inflate rents in a particular area/ward;
  • The rent received for assisted units is at least equal to that of comparable unassisted units on the property; and;
  • HUD factors are applied when determining reasonable rent.

The rent you request may be approved if:

  • The rent requested are determined to be reasonable and does not exceed the rents in the open market for like units within the submarket (i.e. Anacostia, Capitol Hill, etc) of the property; and
  • The rent requested + the value of any tenant responsible utility allowances does not exceed the family voucher payment standard.

The amount determined through the rent reasonableness analysis is the rent amount that will be approved for a specific unit.

Utilities:  Proposed rent amounts and information on utilities should be included in all submissions. It should be clearly noted whether all, some or no utilities will be included (and what specific utilities the tenant will be responsible).

Utility Allowance: DCHA must provide a monthly utility allowance to the participant for all utilities the family is responsible under the lease. The allowance is based on an average utility rate for the District and is provided in the form of a credit to the participant's total monthly rental payment. The amount of the utility allowance must be factored in what DCHA will pay in contract rent to the landlord. The more utilities the landlord assumes responsibility, the greater the possibility of receiving more in the requested contract rent.

Use: General residential use for families.

Condition of Apartment Units: Apartment units, and the building they exist within, must pass an inspection that determines whether it meets all Housing Quality Standards HQS) as determined by HUD. Apartment units must also be free of any code violations. Please specify the number and size of any/all units that are ADA accessible.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, please contact Fred Swan at (202) 541-3921 or [email protected] (best form of communication).

If you would like to submit units for consideration, please contact Clarence Stewart and (202) 543-5298 ext. 121 or at [email protected] (best form of communication).