District of Columbia

  • State Data Overview

    Across District of Columbia, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.

    Renter households that are extremely low income
    Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.
    Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
  • State Level Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Kyle Arbuckle

    Kyle Arbuckle

    202.662.1530 x227 | [email protected]

    State Partners

    Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development

    727 15th street NW
    Floor 6,
    Washington DC, 20010
    P 202-745-0902
    F 202-745-0898
    Stephen Glaude, President & CEO
    sglaude[email protected]
    Scott Bruton, VP of Housing Policy
    [email protected]
    Halley Henry, Director of Advocacy and Communications
    [email protected]

    Become an NLIHC State Partner

    NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.

    Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]

    Become a Member
  • Housing Trust Fund
    HTF Implementation Information

    NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Kyle Arbuckle with any questions.

    NHTF logo
    Current Year HTF Allocation
    NLIHC Point Person for HTF Advocacy

    Scott Bruton

    Director of Housing Policy

    Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development


    [email protected]

    State Designated Entity:

    Mary R. (Polly) Donaldson


    D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development


    [email protected]

    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:

    Lesley M. Edmond

    Housing Compliance Officer


    [email protected]

  • Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: DC (PDF)

    Congressional District Housing Profile

    Congressional District Profile: DC (PDF)

    Research and Data

    National Housing Preservation Database

    The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.

    Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing

    Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In DC and Nationwide

    The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

    The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In DC and Nationwide

  • Take Action
    Tell Congress to Protect and Expand the National Housing Trust Fund
    Urge Congress to Pass a Budget with Strong Support for Affordable Housing Programs
    Tell Congress that Opportunity Zones Must Benefit Low Income People and Long-Term Residents
  • COVID-19 Resources
    COVID-19 Resources

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.  

    You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected]

    COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

    Updated on July 24, 2020.

    DCThe San Antonio Apartment Association is partnering with the city to cover 100 percent of April rent for people who qualify for the city's risk mitigation fund.https://tinyurl.com/ycawkflf
    DCThe Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has developed the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP), a $6.2 million program funded by the federal Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), to provide rental assistance to low-income renters who are in arrears due to the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency.https://tinyurl.com/yxl2d2fr

    Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.

    Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:

    Thrive DC, which provides a variety of services and meals to people experiencing homelessness, suspended all operations at its service center and to all outreach sites on March 23.

    Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement on September 10 reminding residents of available rental assistance and eviction prevention programs. The programs are funded through $40 million in CARES Act funds. 

    Updated on September 15, 2020

    The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia used Stout’s tool to estimate that approximately 57,000 households in Washington D.C. will be at risk of eviction when the moratorium expires in December. There are significant racial disparities in renters’ ability to pay rent, reflecting the District’s racial wealth gap prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Updated on September 2, 2020.

    DCist reviews the current state of eviction protections in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, as well as any public funds available to struggling renters.

    Updated on August 25, 2020.

    The Washington Post reports that although Washington D.C. spends $2 million per month to rent hundreds of hotel rooms to reduce the spread of coronavirus among people experiencing homelessness, city data show that on no night have all of the rooms been filled. The city has left many of the rented hotel rooms– up to 70% on some nights – vacant, while failing to recruit other individuals vulnerable to the coronavirus, such as people living in overcrowded housing situations. Although the coronavirus has devastated dense, heavily Latino D.C. neighborhoods, where many residents live in overcrowded housing and are unable to telework, fewer than 5% of the rented hotel rooms have gone to Latinos.

    Updated on August 19, 2020.

    The Washington Post examines how the pandemic and the broken unemployment system are upending people’s lives in Washington, D.C.

    Updated on August 13, 2020.

    The Brookings Institute released a report examining what it would cost to prevent Washington, D.C.’s renters from COVID-19 eviction.

    Despite warnings from economists and advocates who say that cutting federal coronavirus relief will have harmful, long-lasting impacts on vulnerable residents, Senate Republicans are preparing to release a fifth bill with reduced unemployment benefits and limited or no additional state aid. More than 600,000 laid-off workers in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia have been relying on federal unemployment benefits that will expire, and courts in the D.C. region are beginning to hear eviction cases.

    Updated on August 4, 2020.

    An article in the DC Line urges the DC Council and Mayor Muriel Bowser to significantly revise the budget to increase funding for preventing and ending homelessness. Compared to other jurisdictions, DC’s overall response to COVID-19 has been considered slow and passive by some, particularly for the thousands of DC residents experiencing homelessness - 87% of whom are Black.

    Updated on July 28, 2020.

    An article in the Washington Post discusses new protections and assistance programs that the District, Maryland, and Virginia are establishing to help tenants and landlords impacted by the pandemic.

    Updated on July 13, 2020.

    Washington DC officials will fence off Franklin Square to begin a year-long renovation of the park, displacing approximately 20 people experiencing homelessness. Weeks of street protests and COVID-19 have disrupted the city’s homeless services, and advocates are concerned that clearing the Franklin Square displacement will worsen conditions for the people residing there.

    Updated on July 7, 2020.

    At least seven people living in an 18-unit public housing development in Washington, DC have tested positive for the coronavirus, and five of those individuals have died. The DC Housing Authority, which owns and manages the property did not notify tenants that residents had tested positive or that tenants had died.

    Updated on June 29, 2020.

    Housing advocates and experts warn of a surge in evictions after Washington DC’s eviction ban expires 60 days after Mayor Muriel Bowser lifts the public health emergency.

    Updated on June 22, 2020.

    Coronavirus infection and death rates reveal disparities between people experiencing homelessness in DC and the city’s general population. As of May 13, 269 people in DC shelters had tested positive for the coronavirus, which is nearly 6% of the approximately 4,7000 people who were staying in a shelter as of January 2019. Around 1% of Washington DC residents overall have tested positive. 

    The D.C. Tenants Union, formed last year, has sent a dozen letters to landlords requesting that all or portions of their tenants’ rents be waived in wake of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 3,300 D.C. tenants signed on to a petition to “cancel rents and mortgages.” The group’s demands include cancellation of rent for the duration of the emergency and an additional month, a two-year rent freeze, strengthening the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, and others.

    Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser opened a new permanent family homeless shelter in Ward 3. The opening of the new shelter comes as D.C. is struggling to stop the spread of COVID-19. As of April 28, 162 people residing in homeless shelters across D.C. had tested positive for COVID-19.

    Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. launched an Emergency Housing Stability Fund to expand affordable homeownership opportunities and protect homeowners. Shelter in place orders have forced the organization to pause volunteer operations on its construction sites. Donations to the fund will allow Habitat DC to finish the 14 homes it has been working on and build nearly 30 more homes. 

    According to Washington D.C.’s Department of Human Services, approximately 250 people experiencing homelessness were staying at hotels as of April 22. Officials reported that the city is leasing rooms at five hotel sites, including one location for elderly and medically vulnerable people experiencing homelessness who haven’t tested positive for COVID-19 or experienced probable exposure.

    DC Government is working to increase space in homeless shelters and provide hotel rooms for some unsheltered residents.

    After two people died inside one southeast Washington halfway house in 3 days, residents are becoming concerned that COVID-19 is spreading within the facility.

    The D.C. Council passed sweeping coronavirus relief legislation that freezes rent increases and provides additional assistance to district residents.

    Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.

    Tenants cannot be evicted until 30 days after a mayoral public health emergency expires. Landlords can issue notice to quit (notice of eviction), but no evictions can be filed in court except in cases of emergencies.

    Updated on August 1, 2020. 

    In the third week of July, 23.1% of adults in D.C. reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, 24,253 renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment

    Updated: July 29

    According to a weekly Census survey, 27, 319 renters in D.C. had not paid their June rent, with an additional 4,180 indicating they had deferred their June rent.  

    Updated: July 16

    COVID-19 Resources Other

    National Media

    What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d

    Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb