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COVID-19 Affordable Housing Survey Results

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) sent a survey on June 3, 2020, asking developers, owners and managers of affordable housing in DHCD’s portfolio about the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on their businesses, tenants and expectations for the future; we also asked for property-specific data that the agency could use to assess the needs, if any, of its portfolio.

The responses indicated considerable uncertainty among affordable housing providers about their operations, tenants, and expectations for what comes next. Some of the key findings from the survey include:

  • Respondents were evenly split on whether the District’s economy was recovering or had further to fall.
  • Fifty-eight percent (58%) of respondents saw operating expenses increasing.
  • Fifty-six percent (56%) saw requests for rent relief increase in May.
  • Twenty-four percent (24%) of respondents had contacted their lenders seeking mortgage relief.
  • Rental assistance for tenants affected by COVID-19 was the top policy proposal that affordable housing providers suggested to DHCD as a response to the crisis.

The survey was sent to 235 unique e-mail addresses. It was opened by 99 recipients and 55 completed the survey between June 8 and July 1, 2020. Fifty (50) of the respondents represented affordable housing owners, developers, and managers. These responses were utilized to develop this report. DHCD expects to field a similar survey in September 2020.