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When officials talk grandly about “preserving” the District’s affordable housing, it’s not always immediately clear which buildings they’re referring to.
Now, an online tool published this week by the D.C.-based Urban Institute can help residents pinpoint where units considered “affordable” exist, and whether they’re at risk of losing government subsidies. The tool isn’t new—it’s been used by a group of community organizations and developers as well as local and federal agencies for eight years—but it’s being released publicly for the first time with a new website. This “Preservation Catalogue” features property names, addresses, and affordability data, including when the subsidies a property receives are set to expire, and its count of units.
The map functions like Craigslist housing ads in that you can click on large bubbles of subsidized properties to zoom in on specific buildings. You can also filter by ward, advisory neighborhood commission, census tract, and—for the more academically inclined—the type of government subsidy.
Proportionally large clusters of subsidized properties are located between Ward 1’s U Street corridor and Columbia Heights and in Wards 7 and 8. There’s much less subsidized housing in Ward 3’s affluent upper Northwest neighborhoods.
Currently, there are more than 350 properties listed on the map. You can explore it here.