Affordable Housing

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.

Programs that We Advocate for

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.

These are the programs and policies that SOME’s advocates want to have funded robustly so that more housing will become available to more people. Note that these programs are not run by SOME, and SOME is not a provider of funds. To find sources of direct assistance, please view this resource sheet.

  • Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP): This program has subsidized income payments for low-income residents of DC so that they spend no more than 30% of their income on housing,[1] currently providing support to over 2,500 households.[2]
  • Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF): This program encourages the development of affordable housing units, plus housing preservation and tenant purchase, throughout DC for several income groups, not only the most low-income.[3]
  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP): This program allows low income families and unaccompanied individuals (singles, including those not over age 60 and not disabled) to apply for short-term rental assistance.
  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH): This program provides long-term housing solutions to individuals who have been chronically homeless in the past.

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.

Call to Action

We Recommend the District:

  • Make continued investments in the Local Rent Supplement Program, Housing Production Trust Fund, ERAP and the Permanent Supportive Housing program.
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