housing in dc
Thousands of District of Columbia residents struggle to keep a roof over their heads.
26,000 DC households are currently on the waiting lists for affordable housing in the District.
Approximately 40 percent of DC households (about 100,000) have affordable housing problems, meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Approximately 20 percent of DC households (about 50,000) have severe housing affordability problems, meaning they spend half or more of their income on housing.
From 2000-2007, median monthly rents increased by 23 percent, reaching $930 in 2007. Meanwhile, median income in the District grew just 10 percent – to $54,300 – over the same time period.
The number of homeless families in DC grew by 25 percent between 2008 and 2009.
impact of affordable housing
Stable affordable housing provides much more than simply shelter. According to a 2007 report from the Center for Housing Policy, affordable housing has ancillary benefits in individual and family mental and physical health, and in education achievement. Affordable housing reduces family stress by providing a stable place to live. Lower housing costs can free up family income for food and health-related expenses. Affordable housing also provides a stable foundation for schooling.
Children who are not subject to unwanted moves are able to stay in their schools without disruption to their education. Affordability can reduce overcrowding, resulting in less stress for children, which may lead to higher educational outcomes. Affordable housing developments that incorporate after-school programs may support higher educational achievement among children.
- More 47,500 households had severe housing burdens in 2007, spending half or more of their income on housing. More than 26,000 households are currently on the waiting list for public housing or housing vouchers.
- A resident of the District earning a minimum wage of $8.25 per hour would need to work 153 hours per week to afford the 2010 fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment.
- Local funding for affordable housing has been cut by a third in the last two years, one of the severest reductions in funding of any major DC program.
- The District’s primary affordable housing production and tenant purchase tool, the Housing Production Trust Fund, is projected to end FY 2010 with less than $4 million in the Fund, with projects in the pipeline awaiting funding of more than $80 million.
- The FY 2010 budget for affordable housing is equal to only $1.33 out of every $100 of the District’s locally funded budget.
- The Comprehensive Housing Strategy Task Force (CHSTF) issued a report in 2006 calling for an increase in local funding of affordable housing to $255 million, which is equal to $4.26 out of every $100 of local funding budgeted by the District for FY 2010.
to learn more about housing in the district, click here.
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