After decades of population decline, the city of Washington, DC is growing again. Since the late 1990s, Washington’s population has risen to over 690,000 (2017) and some forecast that the city will soon exceed its post-WWII high of over 800,000 people. In addition, Washington is part of a growing and prosperous economic region that is attracting many new residents and businesses. This past year, Amazon announced that it will establish a second headquarters just outside of Washington in northern Virginia, a development expected to bring 25,000 direct jobs and further accelerate growth. At the same time, Washington may be a victim of its own success. Housing supply has not kept pace with rising demand, driving up rents and home prices. Many Washington area residents pay more the 30 percent of their income on housing, a level considered unaffordable by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and some must spend more than half their income to stay housed. As a result, people may need to move far from the regional center to find cheaper housing, contributing to transportation problems and traffic congestion. In the worst case, vulnerable people and families may become homeless. The business community and local governments are also concerned that if housing costs remain high it could hurt future economic growth and drive away businesses and talented workers. To address these challenges, local governments in the region have renewed their commitment to increase the housing supply. A new analysis by Urban Institute projects that the region needs 374,000 more housing units by 2030, including units affordable to lower-income households. To reach this goal, Urban Institute has recommended strengthening or expanding existing policies and adopting new strategies to advance three key objectives: preserving existing affordable low-income housing units, producing more housing at different affordability levels, especially in the middle-cost range, protecting both renters and homebuyers from discrimination and
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Peter A. Tatian氏（Urban Institute senior fellow）
Peter A. Tatian is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and research director for Urban?Greater DC. He is an expert on US housing policy, particularly in the areas of housing assistance and affordable housing preservation. Tatian advises nonprofits on performance management and evaluation and heads Urban’s work providing technical assistance on data collection and use to grantees of the US Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods initiative. He directed the evaluation of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program, which has provided counseling services to more than 1 million troubled homeowners. He has also studied the impacts of public and supportive housing on neighborhoods and has worked on housing policy reform in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Tatian is a member of the DC Local Initiatives Support Corporation advisory committee, the Park Morton New Communities steering committee, and the United Planning Organization community reinvestment advisory council.