Rising demand has strained the supply of rental housing, with lower-cost units rapidly disappearing. Assisted housing, a crucial safety net for low-income renters, is at risk of disappearing as neighborhoods redevelop and property values increase. The need is especially acute for renters with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median. And much of the rental stock is aging: almost half of apartments are in multifamily buildings 50 years or older. Such old stock often requires reinvestment.
High prices have put homeownership out of reach for many first-time homebuyers. For example, a household supported by a full-time food service manager and a part-time office clerk, with an annual income of $75,000, could have afforded only 19 percent of the homes sold in DC in 2011. The same family could have afforded three-quarters of the homes sold in Wards 7 and 8, yet homeownership rates remain low in this part of the city: less than 25 percent of Ward 8 households own their home.
December 30, 2014