(a) For Fiscal Year 2017, there is established a TOPA Application Assistance Pilot Program ("Program") to help tenant organizations prepare their applications to the First Right Purchase Assistance Program described at Chapter 27 of Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (14 DCMR § 2700 et seq.). The Program shall complement the First Right Purchase Assistance Program, and shall include funding for pre-application legal and technical assistance, including assistance with environmental studies.
(b) A tenant organization in a building of 5 or more units shall be eligible for the Program if the tenant organization meets the eligibility requirements of 14 DCMR § 2701 for tenant associations. A property shall be eligible for the Program if the property meets the eligibility requirements of 14 DCMR § 2703.
(c) The Mayor shall ensure that the agency administering the Program:
(1) Approves or denies an application for the Program within 15 days of receiving the completed application from a tenant organization;
(2) Issues an award letter or denies an application for the First Right Purchase Assistance Program within 30 days of receiving the completed application from a tenant organization;
(3) Reimburses an invoice received from a tenant organization for Program expenditures or First Right Purchase Assistance Program expenditures within 30 days of receipt; and
(4) Expeditiously administers the Program and the First Right Purchase Assistance Program in a manner that allows tenant organizations to meet all deadlines required by this subchapter.
(d) The maximum amount of pre-application legal and technical assistance that may be awarded to a tenant organization per TOPA offer is as follows:
(1) Up to $25,000 for a tenant organization in a building with 5 to 50 units; and
(2) Up to $45,000 for a tenant organization in a building with greater than 50 units.
(e) Funds shall not be used to pay for any costs of litigation.
(f) If a tenant organization, or the entity to which a tenant organization assigns its rights under this subchapter, successfully purchases a property, the full amount of any assistance provided pursuant to this section shall be repaid to the Program within 30 days of the purchase of the property.
(g) By November 1, 2016, the Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this section. The rules shall mandate processes for the application for, and distribution of, funds in a timely manner so as to facilitate successful compliance with the required timelines and purposes of this section.
Expiration of Law
Pursuant to section 2124 of D.C. Law 21-160, the addition of this section by section 2122 of D.C. Law 21-160 will expire on September 30, 2017.