Tuesday, September 13, 2005


The State of D.C. Housing

As somebody who moved into the city one year ago and am moving from one apartment to another at the end of the month, I can certainly attest to the veracity of this article by Lori Montgomery in the Washington Post: Number of D.C. Affordable Housing Units Plunge. According to the article:
In a single year, the median rent in the District jumped by 9 percent -- from $734 to $799 -- while the median home value soared by 32 percent -- from $252,930 to $334,702, according to a report released yesterday by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute.
These trends (of disappearing affordable housing and growing unaffordable housing), according to the report, contribute to the disappearance of a middle-class presence in the city and also of mixed-income and mixed-race neighborhoods.
To reverse these trends, the task force recommends dedicating a greater portion of the tax revenue generated by the real estate boom to housing programs. City officials should encourage construction of 55,000 units over the next 15 years, the report says, and adopt policies aimed at building "mixed-income and mixed-race neighborhoods."

"We're talking about a substantial increase, perhaps doubling what the city now spends on affordable housing," said task force co-chairman Adrian Washington, president of the Neighborhood Development Co., which specializes in urban redevelopment. "If we don't, we're going to have a city that's even more divided along the lines of race and class."

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