Low-cost housing in DC affected by residential construction boom

by Anna Sobrevinas06 Jan 2017

DC has the highest homelessness rate in the country, and its looming construction boom is posing a threat to low-cost housing, according to Construction Dive.

The influx of young professionals moving into DC is causing the residential construction market boom. However, it poses as a problem to low-cost housing as low-income individuals acquire housing through the private market’s rising rents.

The Council of the District of Columbia passed legislation last month on levying a tax on apartments in the downtown business improvement area of the city. The move is for the area’s population growth — in 1997 there were 1,200 residents; today there are over 10,000 residents and 6,500 units.

A November report from the Washington, DC Economic Partnership and CBRE indicated that by the end of 2016, 6,524 residential units would have been delivered — the biggest number since data collection started in 2001 — and 8,250 units are expected to be delivered this year.

According to The New York Times, homelessness in DC is twice the national average — 124 for every 10,000 residents. In January 2015, 8,350 individuals in the district faced homelessness in shelters, transitional housing and the streets; 17.3% were in poverty.

New York City has the biggest rate of homelessness between 2009 and 2016, with 49%; DC rated the fourth with 34.1%. Nationwide, homelessness from 2009 to 2016 has dropped 12.9%.


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