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County Affordable Housing Acquisition Tool

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The apartment rents across the country have been rising at the fastest pace in the past two years. Contrary to other cities, it is reported that the rent in the Washington area has been rising gradually. The Washington market is flooded with several options for the apartment target market that put a ceiling on the extent to which the rents can rise. The calculation shows that the median rent has risen to 2.8 percent in last year (Landis, 2010). It can be interpreted that the high demand of the rental houses in Washington DC is one of the probable reasons for such high rent rates.  Currently, Washington DC is one of the most expensive places to live in all other cities in the United States. Based on this management; this report focuses on identifying the main causes of such high rents in Washington. The report also highlights the probable solutions in terms of dealing with such high rent rates in the city. A complete understanding of the opportunistic scenario as well as the challenges which will strengthen the knowledgeable aspect of the subject area.

Reasons for High Rent Rates in Washington DC

Washington DC has become one of the most expensive places to live in across the United States. Numerous factors are contributing to the rise of rent rates of apartments in this city. Fields and Uffer (2016) explained that the city offers a variety of apartments that are quite attractive to the sophisticated individuals in America. Moreover, it has been observed that the numerous job opportunities in the City are striving opportunities for developing urbanized lifestyle. Supporting this statement, Collinson, (2011) mentioned that the high demand for the houses in the Washington DC surrounding results to a consequent increase in rental prices in this area. This perception can be explained by mentioning the law of supply and demand that that determines the price of the commodity. Favilukis, Ludvigson and Van Nieuwerburgh (2017) argued that the larger supply of the goods or service does not ensure much demand and as a result, the prices tend to fall.  In many of the cases, the facility providers strive to resolve the problem by increasing the rates of the rent. By doing so, the property owners set price and the lock the key determines the price in the market which is supply and demand. 

The idea received from the article, Rethinking Federal Housing Policy, indicates that the repeated changing living standards and economic status of American citizens have been creating the considerable impact on the day to day activities. This impact is leading towards high renting rates, especially in Washington DC. Katharine (2013) presented a contradictory view on this statement by stating that the government policies on the house rents ought to be regulated to reach to the economic level that is in line with the high living standards of the American citizens. The article also depicts that the individuals have been facing considerable challenges due to increasing rent (Walter, Evans & Atherwood, 2016).  It is also stated that Washington offers good quality houses that require incorporation of customers of high personality. Nevertheless, it is essential to pay attention towards the available materials for building components. Mishel, Bernstein & Schmitt (2016) presented a contradictory view in such context. It is said that the quality standards should be increased in terms of ensuring the safety of the tenants.

Another probable reason for increasing rent rates in Washington DC is due to adequate security. The place is quite secure from terrorist and others such as robbery, burglary, and thievery related crimes. The reports show that due to numerous Police stations and security systems available in this area, the place is considered as the most secure. The sufficient security has been attracting many tenants, and likewise, rent prices increase considerably due to the high demand of the houses. Kneebone and Nadeau (2015), opined that Washington DC is endowed with good infrastructure. accounting, people will prefer to live in an area which is convenient for them to travel to their places of work. Moreover, as reported by Howenstine (2017), communication means in Washington DC have been voted as the best and fastest in the country, and as a result, people have been attracted to live in the areas as supported by (, 2014).

Challenges Faced Due to the High Rent Rates in Washington DC

The increasing rent rates in Washington DC have been accompanied by considerable challenges. Fields and Uffer (2016) observed that the increasing rate of the housing rents was becoming unaffordable to the tenants. For example, it as challenge for the tenant to raise high rent fees. As result people have been forced to switch from Washington premises to affordable apartments. The inability to retain clients has had negative impacts on the facility providers since they might not make much profit. The government policies and regulations have also been notable reasons for the continuous increasing housing rent rates in this area (Walter, Evans & Atherwood, 2016).  This has made it hard for the facility owners to set prices that is affordable to their target market and at the same time operate at a profit. For example, the escalated rent prices exclude average people from living in Washington. The government implies that it is necessary to keep the prices higher due to the extra securities provided to the people who are purchasing houses in these areas. In such cases, people from middle and low income group cannot afford such high security, an indication of a huge challenge.  

Sturtevant (2012) implied that government rules and regulations hinder the exploration of the innovative opportunities in the area. Instead, the entrepreneurs have opted to venture their business in different locations. This consequence has seen the decline of housing facilities in the Washington DC. Desmond (2018) contradicted this view by arguing that the investors often seek the good returns on their ventures due to which they need to set their premises in location, which is highly valued by the customers. Therefore, they are more likely to purchase the houses in this area. In another article, the issue is divided into two aspects. First, it is stated that the houses are rented in this area for the economic benefits. The rented house can be transformed into offices for encouraging the economic activities in the area. Hertog (2016) mentioned that the benefits derived from the better infrastructure create the economic advantages to the people. On the other hand, the people who are economically thwarted may face significant challenges in renting the house or introducing any business (Walter, Evans & Atherwood, 2016). It is noticeable that a high number of poor people have been living in the streets of New York and Washington DC. It is sometimes attributed to low economic standard. Hence, the issues with the unaffordable prices persist in case of economically backward people in terms of renting the house in Washington DC.


Solutions for such high rent rate in Washington DC

The analysis of the challenges associable with rent prices in Washington DC reflects that the region is becoming the victim of its success. It is true that the strong and steady economic growth in this region creates the high demand for housing for the entrepreneurs. However, the repeatedly increasing rent prices are creating the significant challenges with income spectrum. In addition, the difficult regulatory environment at the state, local, and Federal levels are creating the negative impact due to the emergence of fear is growing and changing the current residence.  In order to mitigate the challenges, it is important to rethink the planning, zoning and application process. There is a need to create a master plan to ensure the development of the neighborhood by allowing higher density, mixed uses, and transit infrastructure. Desmond (2018) suggested that the local government requires reviewing and revising the ordinances associated with the zone for providing more flexibility in terms of structuring the housing prices in this region.

Kneebone and Nadeau (2015) stated that there should be coordination of both the existing political and economic fragmentation groups in the region. The coordination from the region will help to lower rental prices and maintain high living standards in these Metro areas. The cooperation will encompass all groups from the different levels of economic zone and ensure setting of prices that the target market can afford. The collaboration of local governments, businesses, and affordable housing advocates will be much helpful in mitigating the challenges and make the houses affordable for the ordinary people. Besides, the local leaders need to discuss the regional issues with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government to keep the policy concerns transparent to the public. These implications would be much help in terms of resolving the high house pricing issue in Washington DC.


The study observes the issues with the increasing rent rate in Washington DC. The analysis of the various articles highlights that the growing opportunities, transport facilities, greater infrastructure, and high-level securities as the major reasons for increasing prices of the housing in this region. Also, the government is inclined towards developing more securities for the people, and as a result, it has pushed the house prices higher. The place is quite secure from terrorist and other dangers like burglary, robbery, and thievery. It is also reported that due to numerous Police stations and security systems available in this area, the place is considered as the most secure in the region. The government implies that it is necessary to keep the prices higher due to the extra securities provided to the people who are purchasing houses in these areas. However, the high rental prices have unaffordable by the middle-income group. Additionally, the entrepreneurs have shifted their investment preferences to other locations. Therefore, it is recommended that the government should review the policy and make the flexible approach to engage different buyers from diverse economic backgrounds. The collaboration of the local leaders with the government will also be helpful in mitigating the challenges much preferably



Collinson, R. (2011). Rental housing affordability dynamics, 1990–2009. Cityscape journal 13(2), 71–103.

Desmond, M. (2018). Heavy is the house: rent burden among the American urban poor. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 42(1), 160-170.

Favilukis, J., Ludvigson, S. C., & Van Nieuwerburgh, S. (2017). The macroeconomic effects of housing wealth, housing finance, and limited risk sharing in general equilibrium. Journal of Political Economy, 125(1), 140-223.

Fields, D., &Uffer, S. (2016). The financialization of rental housing: A comparative analysis of New York City and Berlin. Urban Studies, 53(7), 1486-1502.

Hertog, S. (2016). Rent distribution, labor markets, and development in high rent countries.

Howenstine, E. J. (2017). Housing Vouchers: A Comparative International Analysis. Routledge.

Katharine, L.(2013).  Local Economic Effects of Public Housing in the United States, 1940–1970. Journal of Economic History, 73(1), 2978–1016.

Kneebone, E., & Nadeau, C. A. (2015). The resurgence of concentrated poverty in America: Metropolitan trends in the 2000s. The new American suburb: Poverty, race, and the economic crisis, 15-38.

Landis, J (2010). Rethinking federal housing policy. Journal of the American Planning Association 76(3),             319–348.

Metcalf, G. (2018). Sand Castles before the Tide? Affordable Housing in Expensive Cities. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 32(1), 59-80.

Mishel, L., Bernstein, J., & Schmitt, J. (2016). The state of working America: 1992-93. Routledge., (2014). 8 Reasons Why the Rent is Too Damn High. Available from Accessed 27 May 2018.

Sturtevant, L. (2012). How do we solve the housing affordability crisis? Available from Accessed 27 May 2018.

Walter, R., Evans, A., & Atherwood, S. (2016). Addressing the affordable housing crisis for vulnerable renters: Insights from Broward County on an affordable housing acquisition tool. Housing Policy Debate, 26(1), 123-149.

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