Yeah, I hadn’t actually heard of HPAP either until I received a number of emails about it. From a reader:
“This is a pretty big deal- was only able to buy my condo here in Columbia Heights because of this amazing program. Housing prices locally might finally start to see some of the collapse in the rest of the country if this program disappears. Can you send out a note to people?
Basically, the concept of HPAP program is that if you meet certain low-income requirements, you can get up to $70,000 as a downpayment on a house, which never has any interest, you don’t have to start paying back for 5 years, and then have 40 years to pay back. I know, sounds too good to be true- but it’s not, I personally used the program. And they’re talking about eliminating it. Make them stop!”
You can read more and learn how to sign a petition after the jump.
Update: The Post is reporting that it actually has passed. Their story can be found here.
Update 2: From comments – “This is from Councilmember Barry’s office, regarding the conflicting post article about $50m being approved for HPAP. It was wrong. HPAP is indeed still frozen:
The report in the post story is wrong. I plan to reach to them for a correction. The 50 million (which is incorrect too) is for the Housing Production Trust Fund. The 11 million in HPAP funding is frozen per the action the Council the other week. We exploring ways to restore the funding but nothing concrete has come about yet. The best bet for now is to direct residents to DHCD’s website via dc.gov, updates on the situation will posted there.”
Also from an email:
Sign the Petition to Keep HPAP Funding in 2009
2009 HPAP funding is in jeopardy. DC proposed funding cuts have hit this critical housing program. I strongly encourage you to inform your HPAP clients AND Sellers (individuals and developers) to contact their DC Councilmembers (by phone or e-mail) and expressing your concerns about HPAP and/or lower recordation and transfer taxes.
On Monday, November 10, the DC Council passed the “Fiscal Year 2009 Balanced Budget Request Emergency Act of 2008”. There were no public hearings on this legislation. The legislation passed unanimously by a vote of 13-0 with only Councilmember Marion Barry asking for a delay in the vote for public debate of the proposal.
This emergency legislation closed a projected $131 million shortfall in projected 2009 revenues by agreeing to cuts proposed by Mayor Fenty. The Council then went further by creating a $47 million revenue surplus for possible further budget revenue shortfalls that are expected when the CFO announces revised revenue estimates next month (December) and again early next year (February).
Unfortunately, the Council created that $47 million surplus by freezing program funding scheduled for fiscal year 2009, but not yet implemented. One of those programs was $11 million dollars in increased HPAP assistance slated for 2009, but not yet used. If the CFO’s revenue estimates in December or February show signs of improving the Council can unfreeze the $47 million in reserves and move the programs forward again.
Even if this does not immediately affect you, your property or your development, without HPAP assisting the sale of affordable housing in the district the floor of the real estate market could be swept out from under ALL OF US. Prices would likely continue fall and nearly all DC owners would be affected with negative home values within the next SIX MONTHS!