District of Columbia, DC
Surveying affordable-housing-property owners in the Washington, DC, region to track changes in rent delinquency rates and help city agencies determine how to target financial assistance to tenants and landlords.
As of mid-July 2020, 33 percent of District of Columbia residents were not confident in their ability to pay the next month’s rent. Moreover, tenants’ inability to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting many affordable housing developers’ cash flows, making it difficult for them to balance their books. The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) is a member association that is collecting data to track the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial impact on affordable housing properties across the District of Columbia. Although national trackers collect data on rent payments, they do not include subsidized housing or log partial payments. This real-time information will provide city agencies and the city council guidance on how to target financial assistance to assist tenants and landlords.
To conduct its research, CNHED will work with affordable housing developers to collect the dollar amounts of financial delinquency and the number of tenants missing rent payments each month. Comparing the amount of unpaid rent with estimated gross potential rent, CNHED will calculate the rate of financial delinquency across the District. It will conduct property-level analyses by collecting the location, type of residents, income limits, and number of units with rent subsidies for each property in an affordable housing developer’s portfolio. In addition, CNHED will use a monthly tracker to share metrics in aggregate, showing how the nonpayment rate fluctuates and extending data collection six months beyond the end of the public health emergency to evaluate the pandemic’s evolving impact. With real-time feedback, the District of Columbia could adapt its recovery process, getting help to people who need it most.