DC needs to provide out extra hire cash; considers added incentives to get teenagers vaccinated

DC doesn’t seem to be getting money out the door fast enough to help anyone asked for help with the rent.

DC doesn’t seem to be getting money out the door fast enough to help everyone who asked for help with the rent.

Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio said during a DC Council conference call Friday that the city had made a number of improvements StayDC, the district’s rental and utility program, in an effort to handle a significant backlog of applications.

Falcicchio said the program gives landlords “the ability to process multiple applications and really helps housing providers who have multiple units”. Earlier this week the city made a change to allow residents “to enter the portal and really see more clearly where their application is in the process and to understand where it is in terms of status is located “.

According to Falcicchio, 3,430 applications have been completed and paid out so far.

Elissa Silverman, a member of the Grand Council, asked if he found this number “worrying”.

“Because we have an estimate of at least tens of thousands of households in arrears and who would qualify,” Silverman said. “And we’re here in June – we have to get this money out the door by September, [and] we only approved 3,430. “

Falcicchio said around 22,000 applications were being processed and interest was still high.

Silverman said the council is hearing from landlords and tenants who cannot go through the process.

You can find information on how to apply on-line or by telephone on the hotline 833-4-STAYDC (833-478-2932) Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Incentives to have young people vaccinated

DC is trying to get more teenagers vaccinated against COVID-19 Inequalities in tariffs in the districts, and that could mean more free money – or even tuition.

Three Vaccination sites in DC are offering 51 gift cards as part of the city’s promotion: RISE Demonstration Center (One Medical), Ron Brown High School (DC Health), and Anacostia High School (Safeway).

“How do we measure whether $ 51 is an effective incentive?” Asked Silverman during the call on Friday. She added that Ohio was running a lottery giving students free tuition at Ohio State.

“One incentive would be to pay for college. Is that being considered? I know we have a state university, but the most important thing we hear from our young people is their concern that they will not be able to pay for college. So it seems like taking part in the lottery would be a good incentive for that. We encourage our children to get vaccinated, ”she said.

DC is considering additional incentives for the younger population, Falcicchio said, “We are considering options for incentives that are specifically targeted at our young people as we near school start.”

He added, “This is something that is an active conversation. We’ll certainly look at Ohio and other states that have had some type of tuition or scholarship-based incentive and see what they have learned so far. “

DC Health’s Patrick Ashley said the numbers “doubled or nearly doubled” in locations with incentives to get vaccinated. And he said the outlook is positive.

“I was in Anacostia before they opened on Saturday and there were 20 people waiting at the doors and then they talked to them, they were there because it was $ 51,” Ashley said.

“And that’s a good sign. Individuals … it just takes a little sometimes to push people over the edge. And we hope to achieve that. “

Ashley said more data on DC’s overall vaccination rates will be available next week.

Friday’s call and conversation about incentives comes after data from the city’s Deputy Mayor’s Office for Education revealed that at least 60% of children aged 12-15 in Wards 2 and 3 received at least one dose of a COVID- 19 vaccine. In stations 7 and 8, however less than 10% of children in the same age group have received at least one dose.

The inequality has some officials concerned about school returns this fall and the possibility of outbreaks as the more easily transmissible Delta variant spreads.

WTOP’s Scott Gelman contributed to this report.