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DC Wants to Trade Tax Breaks for Affordable Housing

  • February 16th

by Nena Perry-Brown

In December, DC previewed several efforts to increase housing production in areas around the city. Now, one of those efforts is being set in motion.

A Request for Applications (RFA) was released on Tuesday to enable property owners in the Capitol Hill, Rock Creek East, Rock Creek West, and Upper Northeast planning areas to seek up to 40 years of property tax relief on projects that include affordable housing. The RFA will accept applications monthly on a rolling basis, starting with a March 15th deadline.

Affordable housing production progress by planning area as of December 2021, courtesy of DMPED.

Eligible projects must be within 1,000 feet of the aforementioned planning areas and at least one-third of the units must be affordable to households earning an average of 80% of area median income (AMI). Inclusionary Zoning units would count toward this total, and households that earn more than 100% of AMI would not count toward the one-third minimum. There would also be other requirements, including the landlord filing an affordability covenant with the city. Preferences will also be given to "family-oriented units" and to developments near transit and amenities.

The planning areas were identified in the 2019 Housing Equity Report as having the lowest affordable housing stock in the city, and the mayoral administration established affordable housing production goals to be met by 2025. The Rock Creek West area has by made the least progress in meeting that goal (0.1% as of December 2021), and Capitol Hill has seen the third-least progress citywide. 

“Research has shown repeatedly that where you live matters – to your health, to your earnings, to your opportunities in life," John Falcicchio, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, said in a statement. "That’s why it is critical that we have affordable housing in high opportunity neighborhoods.”

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc-wants-to-trade-tax-breaks-for-affordable-housing/19280.

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