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Small Building Program

Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Small Buildings Program (SBP) will provide funds for limited systems replacement and other key repairs to eligible property owners of affordable housing of five (5) to twenty (20) units. Repairs are expected to improve sub-standard housing conditions, including safety and environmental hazards in the District.

Applicants that meet the following criteria should apply:

  • Property owners of up to three rental housing properties whose income does not exceed 120% of Median Family Income (MFI) according to DHCD’s Inclusionary Zoning Income, Rent, and Purchase Price Schedule; or
  • Board of a Limited Equity Cooperative.

Properties that meet the following criteria should apply:

  • Housing Accommodation has between 5 and 20 housing units;
  • Housing Accommodation is at least 75 percent occupied;
  • At least 50 percent of housing units must be affordable to low- to moderate-income households who earn at or below 80 percent of the Median Family Income (MFI) and
  • Housing Accommodation has health hazards or unsafe living conditions that need to be addressed to improve the quality of life of residents that does not exceed $25,000 per dwelling unit or $200,000 per project.

All applicants will be required to complete the following program requirements in order to be considered eligible to apply and be awarded funds.

  1. Pre-application Meeting – All applicants will be required to meet with DHCD Housing Preservation Unit staff prior to submitting an application.
  2. Completed Application – Applicants will need to complete all components of the application prior to submission. This includes all required documentation listed in the application.
  3. Assessment of Requested Critical Repairs – Applicants that are deemed eligible for the program will be required to obtain a property assessment from a DHCD approved scope writer in order to complete the scope of work of the critical repairs requested for the property.
  4. Attendance in DHCD Property Management Course - Prior to remedying the requested repairs, all applicants will be required to attend a DHCD Property Management Course. The course is a day and a half and has components that need to be completed online prior to attending the course. LEC board members will all be required to attend the training prior to construction.
  5. Grant Agreement – A regulatory grant agreement must be signed by the property owner prior to the start of construction. A sample grant agreement can be found in Attachment B.
  6. 5-Year Affordability Covenant -- Repairs in units that are paid through this program are subject to a five-year minimum affordability covenant that restricts the maximum allowable rent (varying by unit size and income level served) and establishes maximum income eligibility limits (varying by household size and income level served). A sample covenant can be found in see Attachment C of this application.
  7. Approval by all Lenders – Lenders with liens on the property must provide consent for DHCD to place a 5-year affordability covenant on the property. A template letter can be found in Attachment D of this application and will need to be provided prior to the signing of the grant agreement and the execution of the affordability covenant.
  8. Completion of Construction – DHCD will solicit bids from contractors to complete the construction work related to the scope of work. Please note that grant funds will be paid directly to the contractor.
  9. Relocation Plan & Meeting – For projects that require the temporary relocation of tenants, the applicant must submit a Relocation Plan that complies with D.C. Official Code §42-3505.01(f). Applicants will need to meet with DHCD Housing Preservation Unit staff prior to the start of construction to discuss the plan and its execution. If Program repairs will occur while tenants are living in a unit undergoing repairs, the applicant must submit a Tenant-in-Place Renovation Strategy describing how tenants will be protected and accommodated during construction.
  10. Program Compliance - During the affordability period, building owners will be required to submit tenant income certifications on an annual basis to DHCD and will be subject to property inspections.
  11. Grant Repayment - Affordability restrictions are not released if the grant is repaid or the property is sold. Repayment of funds will be required for property owners that do not maintain required affordability and or incur additional health hazards during the affordability period.



  • Email [email protected] to set up a pre-application meeting to discuss the program, requirements, and how to complete the application.
  • To access the application, please click here
  • DHCD began accepting applications for the Small Building Program on September 1, 2019