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DC Housing Preservation Strike Force

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:

Establish a Preservation Unit (add link to new page)

Create a Public-Private Preservation Fund (add link to new page)

Create a Small Properties Preservation and Affordability Program

Implement the District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA)

Advance preservation under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA)

Allow low income senior renters to age in place. (Single Family Residential Rehabilitation (SFRRP))

For the full report and information on Strike Force meetings see the links below.

Housing Preservation Strike Force Final Report


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