I just got off the phone with Angelita Colón-Francia, the spokesperson for the Department of Housing and Community Development. We were trying to figure out how anyone looking for affordable housing could possibly find an apartment on her agency’s website currently. We were stumped! Surely, there’s a directory somewhere. Perhaps, a simple list of vacancies? Maybe. But, tell us where.

Well, I guess it’s no big deal because DCHD is about to launch a website that will lay everything out nicely. (As to why I made the above inquiry, I’d say that this announcement just brought out my inner Republican, and got me wondering if this was really necessary. You know, more government money being thrown around. Blah, blah, blah.) Anyway, sounds like a good idea. Here’s the release from Colón-Francia’s office:

District’s DHCD to offer new Affordable Housing Locator Service

(Washington, DC) – The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development has partnered with Socialserve.com, a not-for-profit and national leader in housing locator services, to develop an affordable housing listing and locator service for District residents. The District’s site will operate under DCHousingSearch.org.

…Residents will be able to browse up-to-date, detailed listings to find available properties that meet their housing needs. Landlords and property managers will be able to use the service to list available properties.

“Individuals will be able to search by fields such as ward, zip code, price, the number of bedrooms, proximity to public transportation, accessibility features, and income or age restrictions,” said Kathryn Howell, a DHCD Strategic Programs Specialist working with SocialServe.com on the implementation of the District’s site.

The District’s site will also connect people to other housing resources through website links and provides helpful tools for renters such as an affordability calculator, rental checklist, and renter rights and responsibilities information.