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.

    K
    e
    y
    F
    a
    c
    t
    s
    46,428
    Or
    27%
    Renter households that are extremely low income
    $38,940
    Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)
    -23,370
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    $70,600
    Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.
    62%
    Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
  • State Level Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Sidney Betancourt

    202.662.1530 x200 | [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
    www.cnhed.org
    Stephen Glaude, President & CEO
    [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

    202-745-0902

    [email protected]

    State Designated Entity:

    Mary R. (Polly) Donaldson

    Director

    D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development

    202-442-7210

    [email protected]

    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:

    Lesley M. Edmond

    Housing Compliance Officer

    202-442-7182

    [email protected]

  • Resources
    Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: DC (PDF) (JPG)

    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.

    CityDescriptionSource
    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.

    D.C. lawmakers approved emergency legislation on July 13 that will gradually phase out tenant protections. Tenant advocates say the legislation does not provide adequate protection for people whose eviction cases were pending before the pandemic. Advocates are also concerned about lingering issues with the STAY DC application process, including its onerous application process.

    Learn about the status of eviction moratoriums in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
    Updated on July 26, 2021


    The D.C. City Council is considering revising its eviction ban given the understanding that Mayor Muriel Bowser will not extend the public health emergency to which dozens of protections are tied. The Council is considering emergency legislation that would delay evictions for nonpayment of rent to provide time for D.C.’s rental assistance program, STAY DC, to distribute funds. Tenants have been struggling to access STAY DC due to its complicated application process and inaccessibility to non-English speakers.
    Updated on July 22, 2021


    Governor Jay Inslee announced the statewide eviction moratorium will be extended one more time to provide a short-term bridge extension for state emergency rental assistance programs to get up and running.

    Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on June 18 she is extending the eviction moratorium through September 30, 2021. Executive Order 2021-06 will provide additional tenant protections, including the start of a six-month period in which a renter may claim a defense against eviction for nonpayment if they can demonstrate financial hardship due to COVID-19. Mayor Durkan also prohibited utility shut offs through December 31, 2021. An estimated 86,500 people across the Seattle metro area (about 10% of renters) are behind on their rent.
    Updated on June 28, 2021


    A Washington Post analysis reveals that at least $300 million in federal emergency rental assistance (ERA) remains unspent even as the federal eviction moratorium is set to expire at the end of this month. As of May 5, five of the 15 nearby counties, including the most populous counties in Maryland and Virginia, had not sent any federal money to renters. As of May 30, D.C. has spent $10.5 million (about 5%) of the first $200 million allocated for tenants at risk of eviction. 
    Updated on June 14, 2021


    The Washington Post reports the D.C. Council held an hours-long meeting on May 21 to consider how to lift COVID-19 emergency programs while averting a tsunami of evictions and foreclosures. Top concerns raised during the hearing were a plan proposed by Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to end the city’s eviction ban for nonpayment of rent and the looming deadline for distributing federal emergency rental assistance (ERA). Out of thousands of applications D.C. has received for ERA through Stay D.C., only 500 tenants have received assistance.

    The DCist reports the D.C. Court of Appeals on May 13 issued a stay pending appeal of a trial court’s decision that The District’s eviction moratorium is unconstitutional, meaning the trial court’s decision will not go into effect as the appeals court reviews the case. Landlords are still barred from filing eviction cases while the moratorium remains in effect.

    The D.C. Council voted down a controversial measure on May 18 that would have allowed landlords to resume sending eviction notices during the pandemic.
    Updated on June 4, 2021


    The DCist reports that D.C. will use $350 million in federal funds to provide emergency rental and utility assistance through the new Stronger Together by Assisting You (STAY DC) program. STAY DC will replace the District’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP), which provided $6.2 million to renters who were financially impacted by the pandemic. It will also augment the District’s existing Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Learn more about the STAY DC program at: https://stay.dc.gov

    Updated on April 28, 2021


    The Washington Post reports the D.C. Council voted on April 6 to allow landlords to evict tenants who are deemed dangerous. DCist reported on the bill, which will provide a health and safety exception to the city’s eviction moratorium.

    Updated on April 17, 2021


    DCist reports that Washington D.C. officials have not made plans to expand its Pandemic Emergency Program for Medically Vulnerable Individuals (PEP-V) into a fourth hotel – despite widespread support for the program, the hundreds of unhoused individuals on a waiting list for the program, and FEMA offering to provide 100% cost reimbursement. D.C. has requested a federal reimbursement of $17 million for the PEP-V and quarantine housing programs. FEMA has approved nearly $12 million of that request, and the city expects to receive another $11 million from FEMA.

    Updated on March 31, 2021


    Despite the opportunity to receive 100% reimbursement from FEMA for non-congregate sheltering costs, D.C. officials say there are no plans to expand the Pandemic Emergency Program for Medically Vulnerable Individuals (PEP-V). The director of the D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS) cites other non-federally reimbursable costs associated with operating the PEP-V sites and an overall lack of capacity as reasons for not expanding the program. There are 555 people waiting to be placed into PEP-V as of February 5.

    Updated on February 22, 2021


    Through a new program, DC Water aims to help low-income renters whose water bills are reflected in their monthly rent. The DC Water Cares program will provide discounts to landlords who would then pass along at least 90% of that to qualifying tenants’ rent.

    Updated on February 17, 2021


    A judge in D.C. Superior Court ruled on December 17 that the District’s ban on new eviction filings during the pandemic is unconstitutional. While the decision does not permit actual evictions to occur, it paves the way for landlords to begin the eviction process and for future challenges to the moratorium.

    Updated on January 15, 2021


    Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a $10 million fund for housing stabilization grants to assist residents and affordable housing providers who have struggled to keep up with rent payments. The new grants, funded through the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, will cover delinquent rent accrued from April 1.

    DCist reports on the district’s new $10 million rent relief program, funded through the CARES Act, that allows landlords to apply directly for aid. Most of the funds – $9 million – will be for affordable housing projects. The remaining $1 million is set aside for small landlords. 

    Updated on December 9, 2020


    The Washington Post reports that after eight months, D.C. public schools reopened buildings for more than 400 students – most of whom are homeless, speak English as a second language, or have special-education needs – who will continue with virtual learning under the supervision of non-teaching staff. The principal of Bancroft Elementary School reports that many of the families are facing eviction.

    The District is expanding its hotel accommodations for individuals experiencing homelessness who are at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus. The Department of Human Services began moving clients into a third Pandemic Emergency Program for Highly Vulnerable Individuals (PEP-V) site. FEMA is reimbursing DC for the PEP-V program at the typical 75% cost-share.

    Updated on November 30, 2020


    The DCist reports illegal lockouts, often called “invisible evictions,” are on the rise in the D.C. area amid the ongoing pandemic and its economic fallout. Invisible evictions and self-evictions particularly impact immigrants and other marginalized renters. 

    Updated on November 4, 2020


    The Washington Post reports on local efforts by Census workers, advocates, and officials to produce a more comprehensive count of people experiencing homelessness amid the pandemic. It is especially critical to accurately account for people experiencing homelessness due to the looming eviction crisis that will likely cause a surge in homelessness and an increased need for resources.

    Updated on October 19, 2020


    Emergency rental assistance remains available for people struggling to pay rent in D.C. The lower-than-expected utilization of rental assistance programs is likely due to renters’ confusion about whether they qualify for assistance.

    The Equal Rights Center discusses what the CDC eviction moratorium means for DC, Maryland, and Virginia renters and how to claim protection under it.

    The DC Council unanimously approved a measure requiring landlords to provide photographic evidence that tenants have been given notice of eviction cases against them. The amendment came in response to an investigation from DCist that revealed hundreds of instances in which process servers filed affidavits that were likely false. While evictions are prohibited during the public health emergency, a surge of evictions is likely when the ban is lifted.

    Updated on October 14, 2020


    After widespread tenant intimidation, the D.C. Council on September 22 passed legislation to establish and extend several tenant protections during the pandemic. The Council passed a bill extending the eviction ban for 60 days after the health emergency expires.

    Updated on September 29, 2020


    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