Code of the District of Columbia

§ 42–3503.02. Establishment of Tenant Assistance Program; designation of monies.

(a) For the purpose of aiding lower-income families in obtaining a decent place to live, the Mayor shall formulate and administer a Tenant Assistance Program as provided in this subchapter.

(b) There is authorized to be appropriated at least $15 million for fiscal year 1987 with annual increases in the following fiscal years based upon need and the availability of revenues. Appropriations for the Tenant Assistance Program shall be classified and maintained as a proprietary fund and shall remain available until expended, without regard to fiscal year limitations. No money appropriated for the Tenant Assistance Program shall be expended for any purpose other than making tenant assistance payments and, when necessary, repayable advances for security deposits in accordance with this subchapter.

(c) If in any fiscal year the Mayor finds that tenant assistance payments will exceed available appropriations, the Mayor shall transmit to the Council proposed adjustments to eligibility criteria, income guidelines, or supplement payments to reduce payments under this subchapter to an amount not in excess of available appropriations.

(d) The Mayor is authorized to expend the annual appropriations provided by this section in the following manner:

(1)(A) The Mayor may enter into long-term tenant assistance contracts with housing providers. Payments obligated by long-term contracts may be made on an annual basis during the period of each contract from the annual appropriations for the Tenant Assistance Program. Each contract entered into pursuant to this paragraph shall obligate the housing provider, on an annual basis, for the duration of the contract to offer for lease and to lease a fixed number of rental units, which shall be specified in the contract, to families receiving tenant assistance, regardless of whether the same family leases the same unit throughout the contract period. Each contract shall obligate the Mayor to make tenant assistance payments to the housing provider for the duration of the contract in accordance with the terms of the contract and the requirements of this subchapter as long as the housing is in substantial compliance with the housing regulations. The contractual obligation of the Mayor shall be backed by the full faith and credit of the District to the same extent that applies to District contracts generally.

(B) In the case of contracts for rental units in existing housing accommodations, the length of the contract may be from 1 to 5 years. In the case of contracts for rental units in newly constructed or rehabilitated housing accommodations, the length of the contract may be from 1 to 15 years, with options to renew in 5-year increments.

(C) Consistent with the requirements of § 42-3508.04(d), distressed properties and new or rehabilitated vacant rental housing receiving assistance pursuant to subchapter VIII of this chapter shall have priority over other properties for the long-term contracts authorized by this paragraph.

(2) Repealed.

(3) The Mayor may expend funds from the annual appropriation to assist eligible families with a current valid lease of a rental unit that qualifies according to the provisions of this chapter. The Department shall announce the availability of the assistance authorized by this paragraph through notice to the District of Columbia Department of Aging and Community Living, other relevant District agencies, and private organizations representing senior citizens or tenants in general.

(4) The Mayor shall not, by rule or otherwise, establish any set-aside procedure or allocate any fixed portion of Tenant Assistance Program funds or applications to be approved for any specific category of eligible families or any specific type of tenant assistance contract authorized by this subchapter.

(e) The Mayor shall issue rules consistent with this subchapter for the effective and efficient administration of the Tenant Assistance Program. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved. Nothing in this subsection shall affect any requirements imposed upon the Mayor by subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.