A decade of increasing costs and decreasing options

The Urban Institute released its latest study on housing in the District revealing some interesting trends about the affordability and stock of options for residents. Accompanying the report are a number of informative, interactive graphs that show how drastic the changes in housing have been over the last decade. (WCP, 10/7 and WaPo, 10/7))

In 2005, 17 percent of all rental units went for under $500 in 2012 dollars, while 14.9 percent charged over $1,500. In 2012, those sub-$500 units made up just 11.3 percent of the total stock, while the $1,500-plus ones were up to 35.9 percent of the total. Monthly rents under $1,000 went from the distinct majority to the distinct minority. This is after adjusting for inflation—it’s the real cost of renting in D.C.


Despite the conventional wisdom that the city has a shortage of larger units as developers cater to young professionals requiring no more than one bedroom, the number of affordable three-bedrooms actually increased across all income levels, as did the number of affordable two-bedrooms for all but the poorest residents.

Elevation DC has a special report on the history and ongoing evolution of the Congress Heights neighborhood in ward 8. Though slow, development has brought about some very visible change in the area prompting many to wonder what possible gentrification could mean for current residents. David Bowers, vice president and market leader of nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners, offers his thoughts as well. (Elevation DC, 10/7)

Despite a Crush of Class A Units, Rents Rise in the District (Urban Turf, 10/6)

COMMUNITY | Last week, Mayor Gray accepted the “My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge,” an effort to encourage communities to implement a coherent cradle-to-college and career strategy aimed at improving life outcomes for all young people issued by President Obama. The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation  has been asked to lead the effort to develop the city’s boys and men of color strategy to support improved outcomes for youth in the District of Columbia. Ed Davies, Executive Director of the Trust said:

“The Trust commends Mayor Gray and the city for answering the call for the President’s challenge. We look forward to continuing to lead the work of engaging the public and private sectors of Washington, DC to create comprehensive strategies that result in successful outcomes for boys and young men of color in the areas outlined in the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Report that are germane to DC.”

EDUCATION | The “blended learning model” – an approach to education that blends teacher-led instruction with the use of technology – is helping students in the District greatly improve math and reading scores while lowering the rate of suspensions. Currently, eight D.C. Public Schools are using the model. (WAMU, 10/6)

ARTS | Infographic: Nine Effective Practices for Building Audiences for the Arts (NPQ, 10/6)

CSR | The technology sector, with all its innovation and such, has a unique opportunity to contribute to society through corporate social responsibility. Here’s how some in the industry are meeting the challenge. (SSIR, 10/3)

YOUTH | Political strife and violence have led an unprecedented number of Central American youth to the United States and the Washington region, in particular. Many have a hard time truly understanding the gang violence that rages on in the home countries of many of the displaced youth. A former gang member shares his story. (WAMU, 10/6)

WORKFORCE | Washington’s new wealthy: Women and private sector entrepreneurs (WBJ, 10/6)

Anyone up for yet another list of the best and worst states to live? 

– Ciara