HOUSING THE CAPITOL: THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA'S HOUSING PRODUCTION TRUST FUND AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING AVAILABILITY
Cohen, Mychal Anthony
The District of Columbia faces a growing affordable housing problem. According to the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, nearly 50,000 households in the District of Columbia spent over 50 percent of their income on housing costs in 2012. At the same time, the area has been hemorrhaging affordable housing. From 2000 to 2012 over half of the affordable housing stock disappeared.There is a policy debate around the country on the most effective methods to combat shortages of affordable housing focusing on models such as client-based vouchers or developer tax credits. Recently, Housing Trust Funds have emerged as a viable model for funding the development of affordable housing. Their flexibility, a great asset in their adoption across states, has often prevented rigorous evaluation of trust fund effectiveness in the creation of affordable housing. While there have been some studies on specific trust funds and their output in terms of affordable housing, there exists little in the way of rigorous statistical analysis. Moreover, none of this research has focused specifically on the District of Columbia's Housing Production Trust Fund, one of the most stable trust funds in the country. This paper will focus on the District of Columbia's trust fund, evaluating its relationship with census tract level measures of affordable housing.
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