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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: 

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

Minutes from all meetings are available upon request.

Strike Force Establishment and Appointment Order


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