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Testimony: Department of Human Services’ Implementation of Historic Housing Investments and Pandemic Recovery Efforts

November 10, 2021

Children’s Law Center Senior Supervising Attorney Kathy Zeisel testified at the Committee on Human Services’ Roundtable on the Department of Human Services’ implementation of historic housing investments and pandemic recovery efforts.

Kathy highlighted our concerns about the failure of DHS to utilize permanent housing resources and the problems with the rollout of the cessation notices for hundreds of families in Rapid Rehousing.

Kathy thanked the DC Council for their investments in long-term housing supports, specifically increased investments in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) vouchers, Targeted Affordable Housing (TAH), emergency housing vouchers for homeless families available at DCHA, and DC Flex spots. Even with more than 1,000 housing resources are available for homeless families this year, and fewer than 1,000 families being targeted for termination, DHS is still citing budgetary reasons for why they exit families from Rapid Rehousing.

We urged the Committee to ask DHS why we must exit any family who cannot pay their rent at this time and perform detailed oversight to get DHS to make a consistent, detailed, public plan so that participants, providers and advocates can have a full understanding of what to expect and how to best support families.

Read her full testimony here.