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Affordable Housing in the District of Columbia - Essential Programs


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DC lost half of its affordable housing units between 2000 and 2010.

There are approximately 70,000 low-income households on the DC Housing Authority waitlist for housing assistance.

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In recent years, the crisis in affordable housing in Washington, DC, has continued to worsen. In only a decade (2000-2010), the number of units renting at less than $750 per month fell nearly in half, from over 70,000 units to 35,500 units. The situation is even direr for those with very low incomes. While approximately one fifth of DC households spend more than half their income on housing costs, nearly two-thirds of households with incomes below 30% of the Area Median Income (AMI) spend more than half of their income on housing costs.


During this crisis, a few new programs have emerged to help, but the number of available units does not begin to meet the need and previously available resources have declined.

In 2005, SOME launched its Affordable Housing Development Initiative, with the goal of creating 1,000 net new units to house 2,000 extremely low-income households. At this time, SOME is nearly three-quarters of the way toward its goal.

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