Discover the latest insights and solutions for making Greater DC a place of opportunity for all.

The District of Columbia Housing Authority waiting list for Housing Choice Vouchers contains more than 40,000 families, even though the list closed in 2013. Like cities across America, DC has an immense need for stable, safe, and affordable housing, with thousands of households struggling to pay their rent each month.

The Washington, DC, region is one of the nation’s most economically vibrant areas, but it contains striking levels of inequality. Community development financing in support of affordable housing, small businesses, and community facilities is designed to lift up places that have insufficient access to capital. But how equitably are community development resources distributed across the DC region?

Despite high rents in the District of Columbia, annual reports from the DC courts show a downward trend in eviction filings. The number of evictions filed by landlords fell from 48,000 in 2003 to just over 31,000 in 2017.

For more than 40 years, the mythical and racially charged “welfare queen” narrative—the idea of a benefit recipient defrauding the government and living large on the public’s dime—has shaped discussions about US safety net programs and perceptions of who is worthy of support.