Preserving affordable housing is a key mission for DHCD. Since 2015, the growth of the District’s population and economy has led to a greater demand from low- and moderate income households to keep existing housing units safe and affordable.
Our strategy to preserve and protect the District’s existing affordable housing stock is based on the recommendations made by Mayor Bowser’s DC Housing Preservation Strike Force. The objective focuses on offering tenants, homeowners and property owners access to resources that could help deter the loss of existing affordable housing and resolve any potential safety concerns.
The District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) grants tenants the first opportunity to buy in the event a property owner wants to sell and helps them maintain safe, affordable housing.
The Housing Preservation Fund may also be utilized as a financial resource for acquisition assistance, critical repairs or predevelopment costs by tenants, property owners or developers.
An owner-occupied resident who want to remain in their home but needs assistance with repairs that will address building code violations, physical accessibility barriers and removal of health and safety threats should consider the Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program.
Apartment owners whose building has between five and 20 units could be eligible for assistance to improve sub-standard housing conditions and remove environmental hazards through the Small Building Program.
The District Opportunity to Purchase Act requires rental property owners to provide the city an opportunity to purchase buildings with five or more rental units as long as 25 percent or more are deemed affordable. The city's right to purchase is subordinate to a tenant's right to purchase under TOPA.