DC’s Affordable Housing Investments Are Paying Off

DC residents can take pride to know that the city is working swiftly to build low-cost homes across the city. Just this year, DC selected 25 projects to support that will build or preserve 2,000 affordable homes and use $184 million in Housing Production Trust Fund dollars. This level of funding commitments reflects recently announced project selections, on top of decisions made earlier this year. The new rental housing includes homes for homeless residents and efforts to help low-income renters buy their building and become homeowners.

This highlights the priority the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has placed on moving quickly to turn the city’s investments in the Housing Production Trust Fund into urgently needed low-cost homes. It’s also an important sign that affordable housing developers in DC have the capacity to put large amounts of housing dollars to work.

rfp-blog-imageImportantly, the selected projects will largely serve the DC residents most likely to struggle with high housing costs. DHCD has prioritized funds for housing affordable to families at or below 50 percent of the area median income, or $54,000 for a family of four.

The latest awards also make clear how important it is to provide ongoing rental assistance to make newly built or renovated projects affordable to extremely low-income residents—those with incomes below 30 percent of the area median, or $33,000 for a family of four. Nearly all of the new units for extremely low-income households (559 of 589) will use both Housing Production Trust fund dollars and ongoing subsidy from DC’s Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP). Without LRSP, the District would likely not be able to meet the requirement that 40 percent of Housing Production Trust Fund dollars support housing for extremely low-income households.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the projects selected in 2016:

New Construction (12 projects):

  • 1,047 rental units, including 171 units of permanent supportive housing (PSH) for formerly homeless residents.
  • 223 new rental units (including the PSH) affordable to residents with incomes below 30 percent of the area median.
  • 14 new condominiums will be affordable to residents below 80 percent of area median income.

Preservation (13 projects):

  • 880 rental units will be preserved, including 47 permanent supportive housing units.
  • 362 of the preserved rental units (including the PSH) will be affordable to residents with incomes below 30 percent of the area median.
  • 46 cooperative units in two buildings will be preserved by their tenants exercising their first right to purchase. Most will be affordable to residents below 50 percent of area median income.

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