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Bill Introduced in DC to Help Housing Authority Residents Build Credit

by Nena Perry-Brown

Bill Introduced in DC to Help Housing Authority Residents Build Credit: Figure 1
Affordable housing along Columbia Road NW

A pro-family-sized apartment bill wasn’t the only housing-related legislation introduced in the District yesterday.

At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds introduced legislation to make it easier for public housing residents to build credit, giving them access to better housing options.

The Public Housing Credit Building Pilot Program Act of 2017 would explore establishing a way for individuals living in properties overseen by the DC Housing Authority (DCHA) to have their rent payments reported to credit bureaus. Most reporting services do not pass on information about rental payments to credit bureaus, making even residents who pay on-time “credit invisible”.

DCHA is, in effect, the landlord for over 20,000 residents in the city who generally have few avenues to establish and bolster credit scores. As most access to the housing market is contingent upon having a good credit score, — particularly homeownership — opportunity is scarce for public housing residents to improve their living situation.

“A good credit score is essential for all individuals to have and this program will assist those seeking to improve their credit and their circumstances,” Councilmember Bonds stated when introducing the bill.

A handful of other cities nationwide have passed similar laws, including Portland, Oregon, Louisville, Kentucky and New York City.

See other articles related to: public housing, dcha, dc city council, credit score, credit rating

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/bill_introduced_in_dc_to_help_housing_authority_residents_build_credit/12308

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