Housing stock in D.C. leans heavily toward luxury

The rent in D.C. is high – a fact we all know to be true. As developers continue to build expensive new units marketed toward millennials and others with money to spend on fancy apartments in hip neighborhoods, this article examines some of the reasons why it’s so hard to build affordable units in the District. (WaPo, 8/19)

Economic forces in the city make it all too easy to supply housing for high-income urbanites, not the cheap kind that once was plentiful in D.C. What’s more, even the ways in which the city harnesses the taxes from those luxury buildings — by subsidizing developers who build units affordable to low-income people — hasn’t filled the gap.

The dynamic is affecting what the rich and poor pay in rent. The city’s stock of “class A” apartments, which have luxury amenities, expanded from about 8,500 units at the end of 2010 to nearly 14,500 by end of June, an increase of 71 percent, according to Delta Associates. More than 11,000 more are in the pipeline.

DISTRICT │ City officials recently cut the ribbon on the new RISE (an acronym for relate, innovate, stimulate, elevate) Demonstration Center at St. Elizabeths campus. The center will serve as a tech hub where members of the community can take classes in an effort to bolster economic opportunities. (WaPo, 8/13)

ARTS │ From September through December, areas of all eight wards in D.C. will be transformed into public art displays through a project of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities called “5×5.” The temporary exhibits will highlight issues in global policy and urbanization. (Elevation DC, 8/19)

Related: The arts and humanities are an engine for economic growth and community development. They are tools for education and youth development, and they are a vehicle for social justice and advocacy. The evidence of this in our region is everywhere. On Wednesday, September 10th at 9:30 AM, join WRAG to hear from Rachel Goslins, head of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, about why the arts are a tool with the power to transform individual lives, neighborhoods, and communities as part of our Brightest Minds series.

PHILANTHROPY  │ A Philanthropist’s Guide to Working With Government and Local Communities (Bridgespan Group, 8/18)

│ On Friday, October 24th at 9 AM, Progressive Communicators of Washington, D.C. (PCDC) is hosting a free “communications for nonprofits” clinic for organizations serving the local DC/MD/VA communities. PCDC is a volunteer professional development and networking group of communications experts who are committed to progressive causes and organizations.

AGING │ 36% of adults lack retirement savings, including many 65 or older (LA Times, 8/18)

ECONOMY Map: How much $100 is really worth in every state (WaPo, 8/18)

People in D.C. are a lot more honest than they were last year.