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D.C.'s Affordable Housing Options Decrease

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Costs for housing have risen rapidly in the D.C. area during the past decade, according to a new affordable housing analysis.
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Costs for housing have risen rapidly in the D.C. area during the past decade, according to a new affordable housing analysis.

With housing prices and rents in the District continuing to skyrocket, the city's affordable housing stock is rapidly vanishing, according to a new report released by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute.

During the past decade, the number of affordable rental units in the city decreased by half, and the number of lower-value homes fell by nearly 75 percent, the local think tank says.  Rents have escalated rapidly during that time, even during the recent economic downturn.

A typical one-bedroom apartment cost $1,100 a month in 2010. Even when adjusting for inflation, that's 50 percent more than in 2000. But household incomes have not kept pace with the rising housing costs, and the study shows that one in five District households now pays more than half of their income on housing.

D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute's Jenny Reed says there are steps city officials can take, such as boosting the District's Housing Production Trust, which remains the city's main vehicle for creating and maintaining affordable housing units.

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