DC ‘on track’ to get rent money out

D.C. says it’s “on track” to get money to those who need it through the Stay DC plan.

During a D.C. Council call Friday, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio said the city has “dispersed about $53 million” so far and “approved and awarded … close to about 8,000 applications”

He said applications continue to come in at a steady pace. And approvals are ticking up, too.

“Just in the last week, we had about 2,300 awards. So we do believe that we’re still on track to obligate the funding per the federal requirement,” Falcicchio said.

He did note that the average dollar amount of the awarded money was going down, according to the data.

“We started out about $7,300. We’re at about $6,700” now, Falcicchio said. “So we are kind of looking at the data to try to understand what that means in terms of who’s coming to us and when they’re coming to us. But for right now, we see that the average award has actually decreased over time.”

Separately, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced Friday that his office would be partnering with local nonprofit organizations to sponsor five in-person Stay DC clinics to help residents navigate the application process, so they can get support to pay their rent and utility bills.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the financial challenges that many D.C. residents face as workers have lost jobs and families have struggled to care for their children. At the same time, they still have bills to pay to keep a roof over their head and their lights on,” Racine said.

He added: “STAY DC is a critical program helping D.C. residents pay their rent and utility bills during these challenging times. But for many, the application process has been difficult. I’m proud that attorneys and staff from my office have stepped up to offer their support to help residents fill out these forms, and I hope residents come to these clinics and take advantage of this help.”

According to Racine’s office, the Stay DC program still has more than 80% of its assistance funds ready to be distributed.

Here’s where the clinics will be:

  • Aug. 3, 6 p.m. — 9 p.m.
    Ward 2: Luther Place Memorial Church: 1226 Vermont Ave NW
  • Aug. 10, 6 p.m. — 9 p.m.
    Ward 8: Hart Middle School: 601 Mississippi Ave SE
  • Aug. 19, 6 p.m. — 9 p.m.
    Ward 8: Hart Middle School: 601 Mississippi Ave SE
  • Aug. 28, 10 a.m. — 2 p.m.
    Ward 7: Marshall Heights Community Development Organization: 3939 Benning Rd NE
  • Sep. 18, 10 a.m. — 2 p.m.
    Ward 7: East Washington Heights Baptist Church: 2220 Branch Ave SE

Need to apply? Here’s what to do, per the AG’s office:

Determine eligibility for Stay DC support.

Register at this link to join one of the upcoming clinics so residents will be paired with a volunteer who can assist. Residents can also walk up to a clinic without an appointment, but preregistering will guarantee that someone will be available to provide assistance.

Before going to an appointment, review the list of required documents and bring those documents to the appointment.

Residents with questions can email oagcommunity@dc.gov.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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