Public Land & Affordable Housing in the Washington DC Region: Best Practices and Recommendations – Urban Land Institute Washington – February 2015
Washington, DC— A decent, safe and affordable home is an important foundation for success for all families and individuals, and an important building block for a healthy regional economy. But in areas like the Washington, DC region, high land costs and limited development opportunities can make it challenging to create an adequate supply of homes for the local workforce, seniors and other local residents. A policy of allocating public land for mixed-income or 100 percent affordable housing can be an especially valuable way to reduce development costs, increase development opportunities for affordable housing, and meet the housing needs of lower-income residents, with less need for direct public subsidy.
Through a review of development costs, local public land policies, and three recent public-land projects in the DC region – Arlington Mill Residences, The Bonifant at Silver Spring, and 1115 H Street in Washington, DC – this report provides recommendations to developers, advocates, and local governments for effectively using public land to expand affordable housing opportunities.