Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an umbrella term applied to for-sale and for-rent homes that are locally restricted for occupancy by households whose income falls within a certain range. ADUs are generally offered at a below-market rate. The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) monitors and enforces compliance with ADU requirements in the District of Columbia.
ADUs do not include:
- for-sale and for-rent homes that are federally restricted (for example, homes funded by the Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME), Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) or Community Development Block Grant (CDBG); or
- developments funded through the District’s Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF).
ADUs are generally produced in exchange for zoning relief, tax incentives, public financing, and/or the right to purchase or lease District-owned land. Specific ADU provisions, such as the affordability period, income limits, and resale restrictions, are set out in deeds, covenants, land disposition agreements, ADU administration plans and other originating documents. While historically, these provisions varied from project to project due to unique negotiations or project approvals, ADU restrictions are now becoming more standardized.