57,000 WAIT FOR HOUSING HELP
WUSA - At this very moment, there are 57,000 people on a waiting list for help with housing in the District of Columbia. Some of them will sleep on the street, others in their cars, or worse.
DC HOUSING PRICES - Key data points for 2007 compared to 2006:
- Dollar volume was down 3.74% to $3.7B.
- The average price for a home [single family homes and condos] was up a slight 1.17%, to $532,681.
- The number of units sold - transaction volume - was down 4.85% to 6,940 homes and condos.
To sum up 2007: Homes made up in sales price what they lost in volume. More condos sold, but for lower prices. Note that 2006 sales figures were significantly lower than 2005's.
2006 season: 26,582
AMOUNT SPENT PER RESIDENT
[Jonathan Finer, Washington Post]
ELISSA SILVERMAN, WASHINGTON POST - The number of homeless families seeking shelter in the District has more than doubled in the past decade, a problem worsened by rising rents and a steady decline in the supply of low-cost housing. City officials say the situation has created a crisis and have asked landlords to delay evicting tenants who are unable to pay their rent. . . A total of 2,839 families applied for emergency shelter in fiscal 2006, which ended Sept. 30, according to the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness. . . That is a decrease from the peak of 3,326 in 2004, but fewer housing units are available than previously, officials said. In fiscal 1996, 1,406 families applied for shelter. . .
Between 2000 and 2004, according to a report by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, the District lost 7,500 apartments priced at less than $500 a month. Housing officials say that more than 50,000 people are on waiting lists for a spot in public housing or through local aid or federally subsidized voucher programs.
In 2005, 49,000 tenant evictions took place in DC. Virtually all of these involved DC tenants standing before a judge, without a lawyer, even though it involved losing the roof over one's head.
ELISSA SILVERMAN, WASHINGTON POST - As 52,000 households in the District wait for spots to open up in either public housing or a federally subsidized voucher program, D.C. Council members introduced legislation yesterday to fund more affordable housing with city funds. . . Of the 52,000 on the waiting lists, approximately 20,000 are considered homeless, according to city officials. A recent report by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute found that the District lost 7,500 housing units priced under $500 between 2000 and 2004. . . Since 2003, District applicants on the housing choice voucher list increased from 30,901 to about 47,000, according to D.C. Housing Authority officials.
LORI MONTGOMERY WASHINGTON POST - The number of affordable houses and apartments in the District plummeted by nearly 12,000 last year, according to an analysis of new U.S. Census data. . . In a single year, the median rent in the District jumped by 9 percent -- from $734 to $799 -- while the median home value soared by 32 percent -- from $252,930 to $334,702, according to a report released yesterday by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute. . .
Driven in part by rising prices, the number of affordable houses and apartments declined by 11,800 units, according to the report. Apartments were defined as affordable if the monthly rent was $500 or less; houses were judged affordable if they were valued at $150,000 or less.
The number of high-cost houses and apartments increased by 15,400 units, the report said. High-cost apartments were defined as those with monthly rents of $1,000 or more. High-cost houses were defined as those valued at $500,000 or more.
The report notes that the District had only 9,900 houses valued at more than $500,000 five years ago. By 2004, "there were almost 33,800 of them."
WASHINGTON POST - The number of homeless people in the Washington region rose for a fourth straight year. . . The fourth annual point-in-time survey counted 14,537 homeless men, women and children -- up 1.8 percent from last year's survey by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. . . "About 11,000 are still wending their way through the system, but 3,000 are housed," said J. Stephen Cleghorn of the District-based Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, who leads the annual study. While those in permanent settings continue to rely upon the homeless system for support, "we have essentially ended the homelessness of more than 3,000 people with serious disabilities," Cleghorn said.
THE MOST RECENT Washington Post chart of local housing prices had almost every zip code shade a dark gray - meaning that the median price of buy a home there had increased at least ten percent over the past year. Combining these figures with earlier Post charts, here is a rough estimate of annual housing price increases over the past two years: 9/03
DC has a higher percent of upscale houses than any of the surrounding jurisdictions. Eleven percent of all DC homes are worth at least $500,000 compared to 10% in Montgomery County and nine percent in Alexandria. Less than one percent of the homes in PG County are worth at least $500,000.
CAPITOL HILL is the largest historic district in the country, with some 5,000 sites
STEVEN PEARLSTEIN, WASH POST - Hyping the economic benefits of convention centers is accepted practice in the economic development game. Convention centers have become an easy way for politicians to show they are doing something to boost the local economy and revive struggling downtowns. And it is all lent a veneer of economic legitimacy by industry consultants who never met a convention project they didn't think was a winner. In fact, a recent study by Heywood Sanders, an economist at the University of Texas at San Antonio, found that most of the studies are bunk. One reason is that they continue to assume annual 5 percent increases in convention attendance despite recent experience that shows growth to be flat or declining. And while the consultants make wildly optimistic assumptions about the economic multipliers from added hotel stays and restaurant meals, they invariably ignore the negative impact on non-convention business from the higher taxes used to finance the new centers. More significantly, the studies never attempt to compare the economic benefits of, say, spending $834 million to build a convention center against those from spending the same amount to build and endow a new, world-class research university. The choice is invariably framed as between building a convention center or watching the business go elsewhere. As a result of this economic malpractice, a convention center glut has already developed across the country, with a 15 percent increase still in the pipeline. Some cities have responded to the glut by virtually giving away their space and hotel rooms. Others, including Boston, Orlando and Washington, have concluded that the only way to survive it is to aim for bigger conventions by expanding their facilities, in the process adding to the oversupply.
In 1997, the average price of a condo in the District was roughly $136,000. Today, it's $258,500. Two years ago, condos costing more than $200,000 made up 27 percent of the market. Today, that figure is 54 percent. Two years ago, there were three condos on the D.C. market in the $400,000-$499,999 price range. Today, there are 40. And while high-end condos are spreading like wildfire, low-end options are disappearing: There are just seven condos available in the District for less than $50,000 today; there were 77-11 times as many in 1999. [Washington City Paper 1/03]
TWO OUT OF THREE rental apartments in the District are efficiencies or one-bedrooms and fewer than 7 percent of the city's apartments have three bedrooms or more. Of nearly 23,000 apartments documented in the survey, only 158 had four or more bedrooms. A total of 1,278 apartments had three bedrooms. About 60 percent of the city's households are rentals. Rents for two-bedroom dwellings range from $150 a month to $3,200. The highest concentration of rental apartments in the city is in Ward 2. Wards 4, 5 and 6, which cover Capitol Hill and the north-central part of the city, have the fewest renters. Nearly 30 percent of the city's rental units are in Ward 3, west of Rock Creek Park, and nearly 25 percent are east of the Anacostia River in Wards 7 and 8. [Metropolitian Council of Governments, Washington Post 1/03]
MEDIAN PRICE OF A DC HOUSE
[GREATER WASHINGTON REALTORS]
A study published in Housing Zone finds that the Washington area ranks 19th among 44 major cities in housing prices and is included in a list of places with no housing bubble. Current house prices run about 3.4 times annual median income as opposed to the city with the biggest bubble, Boston, where the ratio is 6.3 times income. Other top housing bubbles are found in San Diego, Ft. Laudedale, San Francisco, Miami, and Denver. 2002
DC RANKS 6th in the nation - tying Kentucky, Maine and Mississippi - for lack of indoor plumbing according to the new Census. Just under one percent of the city's houses do not have toilet facilities. Alaska has the words record: 6.3% of its houses lack plumbing. 2002
URBAN INSTITUTE - Although the District had fewer housing units in 2000 than in 1990, housing production picked up toward the end of the decade, neighborhoods. Census 2000 data on rent levels are not yet available, but advertised rents for houses and apartments currently on the market in the District average almost $1,000 for efficiencies and over $1,800 for two-bedroom units, substantially higher than rent levels recorded across the city in 1998. Average home sales prices in the District reached $250,000, a 16 percent increase from 1998 to 2000. And the gap between white and minority homeownership in the city is only 12 percentage points, about half that for the region as a whole. 6/02
CHANGE IN MEDIAN RENT
DC HOUSEHOLD SIZE [Census 2000]
Percent of homeless who are children: 23%
DC's homeless as a percent of area homeless: 50%
[Council of Governments]
rate on FHA loans, national: 6.4%
In Washington, the number of homeless families has risen by 32 percent - after four years of decline. D.C. Village, the city's intake shelter for families, is at capacity, and about 600 men and women bed down each night on city streets - Washington Post
Some 71 percent of households with incomes below $25,000 - or 59,000 households - spend more than 30 percent of income for rent, lived in physically inadequate housing, or lived in overcrowded conditions.
Some 28 percent of District households with incomes between $25,000 and $50,000 and 12 percent of households at incomes above $50,000 faced one or more housing problems. Some 44 percent of D.C. households with incomes under $25,000 had severe housing problems - defined as paying more than half their income for housing or living in severely inadequate conditions - compared with less than seven percent of households at higher income levels. Of the 42,000 District households with severe housing problems, 36,000 had incomes of $25,000 or less.
More than 10,000 families are on the District's waiting list for public housing, and 15,000 families are on the waiting list for federal Section 8 housing vouchers.
After all the money that has been spent on housing in this city and all the talk of "revitalization" there were actually 3,559 fewer housing units in DC in 2000 than there were in 1970. Further, the housing vacancy rate is nearly 10% while thirty years ago it was 6%. There are 11,565 more vacant housing units than in 1970.
Rental occupied units
Some 71 percent of DC households with incomes below $25,000 - or 59,000 households - spent more than 30 percent of income for rent, lived in physically inadequate housing, or lived in overcrowded conditions.
Some 28 percent of District households with incomes between $25,000 and $50,000 and 12 percent of households at incomes above $50,000 faced one or more housing problems.
Some 44 percent of D.C. households with incomes under $25,000 had severe housing problems - defined as paying more than half their income for housing or living in severely inadequate conditions - compared with less than seven percent of households at higher income levels. Of the 42,000 District households with severe housing problems, 36,000 had incomes of $25,000 or less.
. Families facing
severe housing problems have limited access to federal housing
assistance. More than 10,000 families are on the District's waiting
list for public housing, and 15,000 families are on the waiting
list for federal Section 8 housing vouchers. (Some families are
on both lists.) Nearly all have incomes below $25,000. [DCFPI]
Number of homeless
persons who died from hypothermia December 1996-December 2000:
Number of homeless persons, 1999: 12,700 people, a per-capita rate about twice that of other cities nationwide.
The DC area is one of the worst ten metro regions for urban sprawl according to a new study by the Sierra Club.