At a time when many homeowners are becoming renters after losing their homes to foreclosure, ensuring the affordable supply of rental housing is something that is quickly showing up on the radar of many. However, a recent article in the Washington Post sheds light on the demand that already exists for affordable rental housing in the Washington, DC, region, saying that many tenants with high rents in the area are increasingly seeking help from government agencies to meet their basic needs during the recession.
"The foreclosure crisis had overshadowed the fact that there are still huge needs for affordable rentals," said Melissa Bondi, housing director at the Coalition for Smarter Growth in Washington. "It is not as if a $500,000 house in foreclosure is magically available to a family that is being paid by the hour."
The story is a reminder that despite the drop in housing values, renters in the Washington, DC, area still face a high-priced market, as rents for affordable units remain relatively stable and vacancies are limited. Even in more affordable neighborhoods, a one-bedroom apartment can rent for approximately $1,000 per month.
In January, the waiting list for affordable housing and housing vouchers in the District of Columbia alone contained approximately 25,000 applications. Many of the applications are for families, which translates into about 70,000 individuals in need, according to Dena Michaelson, a spokeswoman for the District of Columbia Housing Authority.
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