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Most people actually rent, not own. (Lydia DePillis)

The 2009 American Community Survey—that’s like Census Lite—dropped yesterday, and the biggest takeaway in D.C. is that lots more black kids are poor. But since this is a housing blog, we’re going to look at the housing stats, to see how the District looks relative to the rest of the country. A few interesting points:

  • Overall, we’re not adding housing units very fast. In the District, there were 282,900 housing units in 2006, and 285,164 today.
  • Our housing is pretty old! Eighty percent of our buildings were constructed before 1970, with the greatest portion—34.7 percent—built before 1940. That’s compared to 42.5 percent of housing units constructed before 1970 nationwide. Obviously, being the nation’s capital, D.C. filled in before much of the rest of the country, and much of that old stuff has stuck around.
  • Yup, we’re a transient city: 47.6 percent of people moved into their current housing in 2005 or later, compared to 40.5 percent nationally.
  • We have relatively a lot fewer cars: 35.2 percent of D.C. housing units have no automobile attached to them (nationally, only 8.9 percent of housing units don’t have a car). 44.7 percent have one car (which approximately matches the 43 percent of people who commute by car).
  • We pay a lot in rent: 53.8 percent of renters pay more than $1,000 per month, and the median rent is $1,059. 41.6 percent of units pay more than 35 percent of the household’s income in rent, which is five percent above what is deemed affordable by HUD guidelines (the national average is about the same, even though the national median rent is only $842).