At the moment, family shelters in Washington, D.C. are at capacity. With help from private landlords, this might change. Washington City Paper reported that Mayor Muriel Bowser plans on searching for property owners who could provide “bridge housing” with two- to three-year master leases for move-in-ready apartments ranging from one- to three-bedrooms.
Currently, the District utilizes motels and hotels for housing homeless families on an emergency basis. Washington City Paper reported that it costs $80,000 per night to house approximately 600 homeless families in these developments. According to Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, D.C. can’t afford to keep housing homeless families in motels and hotels.
With this new solicitation for property owners, the requirements for the developments include that they must have between 15 and 50 units and must not be partially occupied. Preference also goes to buildings within two blocks of a Metro station.
In an interview with the Washington City Paper, Laura Zeilinger, director of the Department of Human Services said, "The bridge housing will be a more effective and efficient means of serving families needing a temporary placement during a housing crisis while we continue to implement the strategies in our strategic plan and reduce our reliance on motel rooms."
There are no reports yet as to how much money will be saved by housing homeless families in apartment buildings as opposed to motels and hotels.
• D.C. Looks for Landlords to House Homeless Families [Washington City Paper]