DC Housing Preservation Strike Force recommended the creation of a Preservation Unit and the appointment of a new Affordable Housing Preservation Officer as one of six critical strategies to preserve affordable rental housing in the District.
The Preservation Unit was funded in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s FY 2017 budget and will focus on preserving affordable units that currently exist with and without government subsidies and on collecting and maintaining data on all affordable housing opportunities in the city. The unit is located within DHCD. Its specific duties include:
- Reach out to property owners, investors, and others associated with real estate and housing advocacy in the District to establish relationships and gather intelligence.
- Discuss concrete options with owners and other interested parties to seek agreement on a preservation outcome even when the threat to affordability is not imminent.
- Provide financial and technical assistance rapidly to make preservation the most efficient and effective method for the District to provide affordable housing.
In 2017, the Mayor announced the appointment of Ana Lopez Van Balen as the Preservation Officer charged with leading the unit.