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Mayor Bowser Awards Grants to Local Organizations to Provide Housing Counseling, Small Business Assistance, and Storefront Improvements

Thursday, February 6, 2020

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced awards of nearly $13.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to 23 community-based organizations that will provide an array of housing services for residents and small business assistance for entrepreneurs.

“These critical investments are helping us and our community partners empower residents to be able to afford to stay in their homes and become homeowners, while also helping small businesses stay and thrive in their neighborhoods,” said Mayor Bowser. “Here’s what we know and what we’re seeing: when the federal government supports our local housing goals, we make those funds work for our residents. Now, we urge even greater investment as we take on the housing affordability crisis facing the District and cities and towns across the country.”

In July 2019, DHCD issued a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for organizations committed to affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization. The programs highlighted included housing counseling services, small business assistance, and storefront façade improvements.

“Our investment in affordable housing is part of our overall strategy to create vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods,” said DHCD Director Polly Donaldson. “But, we also understand that investing our federal resources into small businesses can attract and retain amenities that can help grow and sustain a neighborhood’s economic viability. It’s an important tool in our community development kit.”

Housing counseling services and trainings are available to help renters understand and exercise their rights; also, prospective and current homeowners are provided resources to purchase or stay in their home. The following grantees will provide housing counseling services to residents:

AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly
Central American Resource Center
Greater Washington Urban League, Inc.
Housing Counseling Services, Inc.
Latino Economic Development Center
Lydia's House, Inc.
Manna, Inc.
Marshall Heights Community Dev. Organization
United Planning Organization (UPO)
University Legal Services, Inc.

Access to resources such as micro-financing, business planning, legal and tax preparation assistance can help spur growth for small businesses. The following grantees will offer support to small businesses and entrepreneurs:

Anacostia Economic Development Corporation
ARCH Development Corporation
Congress Heights Training & Development Corporation
Dreaming Out Loud, Inc.
Friends of Rhode Island Avenue
Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
H Street Main Street, Inc.
Latino Economic Development Center
Life Asset
SB Works
Washington Area Community Investment Fund

Qualified business owners in targeted commercial/retail areas can receive a matching grant for general repairs and maintenance of storefront doors, lighting, and signs. The following grantees will offer support for storefront improvement projects in targeted commercial/retail areas:

Anacostia Economic Development Corporation
ARCH Development Corporation
Barracks Row Mainstreets, Inc.
Congress Heights Training & Development Corporation
District Bridges
Friends of Rhode Island Avenue
SB Works