No effort to reduce homelessness can be successful in the long term without increased resources for affordable housing. At SOME, we believe that affordable housing and supportive programs improve the economic status of residents, revitalize neighborhoods, and stabilize lives. 

SOME opened its first transitional housing program in 1986, its first long-term affordable housing program in 1989, and now operates 1,100 units of supportive-service, affordable housing for families and single adults experiencing homelessness and poverty. Most non-profit housing developers in the District focus on housing for households up to 80% or below of the FMI (Family Median Income); few concentrate on developing affordable housing for those in the lowest economic bracket. SOME has stepped into this vacuum and is filling a critical niche by providing housing to those at 30% or less of FMI ($38,700 for a family of four as of 2021). 

In addition to pioneering the Single Room Occupancy concept in the District, SOME has acquired and developed properties for use in addressing different issues and stages of homelessness. These housing properties include transitional housing for families at the Weinberg Building; a crisis stabilization center for those with mental illness at Jordan House; transitional housing for those with mental illness at Mary Claire House; a shelter for abused and neglected older adults at Kuehner Place; and transitional housing for those in substance abuse recovery at Leland Place. 

In 2005, recognizing the great need in DC for the creation of affordable housing SOME launched the Affordable Housing Development Initiative with a goal of creating 1,000 new units of housing. We are more than halfway to our goal, with 783 units completed or in the development pipeline. This remarkable output led to SOME’s selection as the Washington, DC HAND (Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers) Developer of the Year in 2012 and in 2018. As in all of SOME’s properties, the design, construction, physical integrity, and maintenance of our housing units provide an environment that is attractive, functional, and conducive to residents’ stability.  

In 2021, SOME will welcome residents into the following properties: 

  • The Anna Cooper House Project is a renovation of an existing SOME affordable housing program, preserving 47 units of much-needed affordable housing for single adults in Ward 2. 

  • Karin House will offer 40 efficiency units for senior citizens as part of the exciting redevelopment of the Walter Reed campus in Northwest DC. 

  • Thea Bowman House is a nine-unit expansion of SOME’s Accelerated Housing Program, which is a two-year program for families preparing for homeownership or market-rate rents. 

SOME is redefining affordable housing by creating a stable foundation where our residents can explore their potential, supported by practical resident programs such as financial education, employment initiatives, parenting classes, and after-school programs for children. Residents typically pay no more than 30% of their income as rent and agree to follow a set of Community Guidelines in order to maintain a healthy, positive, and drug- and alcohol-free environment for all residents. Learn more about housing for single adults, families, and seniors

SOME’s supportive housing model includes mandatory case management, which allows for early intervention should a resident find themselves in breach of their lease agreement. Our goal is to address the root cause of any issue and to empower our residents to take a proactive approach to find solutions. In 2016, SOME created our Rapid Re-engagement Program as an intensive intervention for anyone struggling to maintain sobriety. In the case of rental arrears, SOME staff work with residents to create budgets and payment plans and to connect them to outside resources, such as DC’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Less than 10% of our resident base is entered into court-monitored payment plans or the correct-or-vacate process annually; executed evictions have not exceeded single digits in the past five years (2017-2021).  

Alongside our work around the development, preservation, management, and/or financing of affordable, program-enriched housing in DC, we also advocate for policies and practices that most benefit vulnerable residents in need of critical healthcare, social services, and housing. Key successes for affordable housing and homelessness prevention within DC’s FY2022 Budget include: 

  • $250 million increase for the Housing Production Trust Fund 

  • $42 million added to the Local Rent Supplement Program over a five-year period 

  • $14.1 million for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program 

  • Funding for 2,370 units of permanent supportive housing for single adults 

  • Funding for 540 units of permanent supportive housing for families