From Tenant Organizers to Housing Agencies: Using Data to Preserve Affordable Housing

Journal Article by Kathryn Howell

Urban–Greater DC   (Washington, D.C.)

This issue of Community Scope examines how in Washington, D.C., a network of organizers, government agency staff and affordable housing advocates have cooperatively developed quantitative and qualitative housing data to address the loss of subsidized, rent stabilized and market-affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods. The DC Preservation Network (DCPN) offers an important example of the ways in which the sharing of data between various actors has led to a broadening of the preservation effort and creates the conditions necessary for affordable housing preservation. DCPN’s effectiveness, while not directly involved in building or financing affordable housing, has helped shape an environment — including shared data, access and trust among actors — that enables proactive and comprehensive intervention in buildings that are at risk of loss from the District of Columbia’s affordable housing stock.