Proposals designed to boost home ownership among low-income families and to streamline the city's licensing of health-care facilities were introduced yesterday by two members of the D.C. City Council.
The home-ownership measure, introduced by council member John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2), would encourage well-to-do persons to invest jointly in residential housing with low-income families to take advantage of a recent change in federal tax law that makes such shared-equity ventures more profitable.
"While many lower-income families are in a position to meet the monthly mortgage costs of owning a home," Wilson said, "coming up with a down-payment and the settlement costs very often prove to be a road block."
Under Wilson's proposal, low-income families would have to put up at least 5 percent of the equity and would be entitled to a proportionate share of the tax advantages. The bill, cosponsored by nine council members, would exempt the investors from the District's 1 percent transfer tax and 1 percent deed recordation tax. It also would exempt certain investors from paying property taxes for up to five years.
The second bill, introduced by council member Polly Shackleton (D-Ward 3), would revise licensing laws for hospitals, and skilled and intermediate-care facilities. For the first time, the measure would license maternity centers, hospices and home-care agencies.
"District law governing hospital licensure is quite dated and, consequently, is sorely in need of revision," Shackleton said.
Shackleton said her proposal would encourage competiton and "broaden consumer choice" by prohibiting clinics from discriminating against the services of psychologists, podiatrists and certain nursing professionals.