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Rent-burdened in D.C.: About half city’s tenant households confront crushing costs

More than one in five tenant households in the District are spending over 50 percent of their income on rent

Brian Kinney/Shutterstock

The percentage of Washington, D.C., tenant households paying at least 30 percent of their monthly income toward rent decreased to 47.1 percent in 2017 from 48.2 percent in 2016, according to a new analysis from real estate research and listings site Apartment List.

That slight decrease in the percentage of so-called rent- or cost-burdened households mirrored the national trend from 2016 to 2017, which also saw a slim decline in the share of households paying so much on leasing every month.

Washington, in fact, had the 33rd lowest share of rent-burdened households among the 100 cities that Apartment List analyzed.

Still, the number of rent-burdened households in the District increased by more than 78,000 in the 10 years before 2017, despite a robust economic recovery from the Great Recession nationally and locally.

What’s more, 22.4 percent of the city’s tenant households are what the Apartment List report called severely cost-burdened—spending more than 50 percent of their monthly income on rent. You can download the full data set here.