The DC Housing Preservation Strike Force was created in 2015 by Mayor Muriel Bowser. It was an 18-member team, chaired by Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Director Polly Donaldson, and comprised of District housing experts and selected stakeholders from the public.
Creating new affordable housing in the District is a top priority, but so too is preserving and protecting the current affordable housing stock, which has been at risk due to:
- The city losing at least 1,000 units of subsidized housing between 2006 and 2014;
- Another 1,750 units that are at risk of being lost, according to the DC Preservation Network; and
- There are an additional 13,700 units with subsidies that will expire by 2020 and are possibly at risk of loss.
To remedy this problem, the mayor charged the Strike Force with developing an action plan to preserve the District’s existing affordable housing covenants set to expire by 2020.
For several months, the Strike Force assessed the current tools available to the District for the preservation of its affordable housing stock. The Strike Force presented six initial recommendations to Mayor Bowser in June 2016 during the DC Housing Expo and Home Show: (1) establishing a preservation unit; (2) creating a public-private preservation fund; (3) expanding resources to preserve small properties; (4) adopting regulations for the District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA); (5) advancing preservation through the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA); and (6) enhancing programs to allow low income seniors to age in place.
The mayor released the final 28-page report in November 2016. The report detailed a proactive, multi-pronged strategy for the District to use in preserving its existing supply of affordable housing by 2020. Since that time the following key recommendations have been implemented: (1) DOPA regulations were drafted in December 2017; (2) a preservation unit was established, and a preservation officer was hired to head that unit in March 2018; and (2) a $10 million public-private preservation fund was funded, and two fund managers were selected in March 2018.
For the full report and information on Strike Force meetings see the links below.
Meeting Dates with Agendas, Presentations and other Materials
- September 30, 2015
- October 16, 2015, Urban Institute Presentation
- October 30, 2015
- November 6, 2015, Finance Unit, Operations Unit's Presentation
- November 13, 2015, DOPA Presentation
- November 20, 2015, Preserving Subsidy Contracts Using Section 8(bb) & DOPA
- January 26, 2016
- February 18, 2016, ULI Terwilliger Center for Housing Presentation
- March 11, 2016, Howell Presentation
- March 25, 2016, Consolidated Plan briefing
- April 8, 2016
- April 22, 2016
- April 29, 2016, Greysteel-DC Multifamily Market Statistics Presentation
- May 6, 2016
Minutes from all meetings are available upon request.
Strike Force Establishment and Appointment Order
- Mayor's Order: Establishment of DC Housing Preservation Strike Force
- DC Housing Preservation Strike Force Appointment Order 2015-208