Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter VIII. New and Vacant Rental Housing and Distressed Property.


§ 42–3508.01. Declaration of policy.

In order to assist in stimulating the expansion of the supply of decent, safe, and affordable rental housing for low- to moderate-income persons in the District, the Council declares as its policy that the Mayor and the Council shall:

(1) Use the District’s bonding authority to provide low-interest financing for the construction of new rental units and the rehabilitation of vacant rental units; and

(2) Provide tax abatements and other incentives for the construction of new rental units and the rehabilitation of vacant rental units.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 801, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2581.

Expiration of Law

Section 907 of D.C. Law 6-10, as amended by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 8-48 and § 818 of D.C. Law 11-52, provided that all subchapters of the act, except III and V, shall terminate on December 31, 2000.

Editor's Notes

For temporary amendment to the termination provision of D.C. Law 6-10, see § 818 of the Omnibus Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 1995 (D.C. Act 11-124, July 27, 1995, 42 DCR 4160).

Mayor authorized to issue rules: Section 2(d) of D.C. Law 10-155 provided in part that pursuant to subchapter 1 of Chapter 5 of Title 2, the Mayor shall issue rules to implement this subchapter. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, in whole or in part, by resolution within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved. Nothing in this section shall affect any requirements imposed upon the Mayor by subchapter 1 of Chapter 5 of Title 2.


§ 42–3508.02. Tax abatement for new or rehabilitated vacant rental housing.

(a) There shall be an 80% reduction of the property tax liability during the first year newly constructed rental housing accommodations become available for rental. Tax for succeeding years shall be increased by increments of 16% of the full tax liability, until the time the full liability absent this provision, is reached.

(b) When vacant rental accommodations which have been rehabilitated become available for rental, the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall apply to the amount by which the tax assessment was increased due to rehabilitation.

(c) When vacant rental accommodations are being rehabilitated under this subchapter, the Mayor may defer or forgive any indebtedness owed the District or defer or forgive outstanding tax liens.

(d) A project eligible for tax abatement or deferral or forgiveness of any indebtedness to the District or deferral or forgiveness of tax liens under subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section shall be subject to certification by the Mayor that it is in the best interest of the District and is consistent with the District’s rental property needs in terms of its location, type, and variety of sizes or rental units.

(e) Repealed.

(f) This section shall not apply to property which receives tax relief pursuant to §§ 47-857.03 through 47-857.10.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 802, 32 DCR 3089; Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-155, § 2(c), 41 DCR 4873; Apr. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-114, § 602, 49 DCR 1468.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2582.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3508.04, § 47-857.02, and § 47-859.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-114 added subsec. (f).

Cross References

Establishment of real property tax rates, see § 47-812.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


§ 42–3508.03. Deferral or forgiveness of water and sewer fees for rehabilitated vacant rental housing.

(a) Where vacant rental accommodations are being rehabilitated under this subchapter, the Mayor may defer or forgive any outstanding water and sewer fees owed by the property.

(b) A project under this section shall be subject to certification by the Mayor that it is in the best interest of the District, and is consistent with the District’s rental property needs in terms of its location, type, and variety of sizes of rental units.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 803, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2583.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-3508.04.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


§ 42–3508.04. Distressed properties improvement program.

(a) The Mayor may establish and administer a distressed property improvement program to assist those housing accommodations which meet the requirements of § 42-3501.03(9).

(b) The distressed property improvement program may include any or all of the following:

(1) A 5-year deferral or moratorium on real property taxes;

(2) Deferral or forgiveness of water and sewer charges in arrears;

(3) Deferral or forgiveness of tax liens;

(4) Deferral or forgiveness of any indebtedness owed to the District;

(5) Low-interest or no-interest loans; and

(6) Financial grants.

(c) Nothing in subsection (b) of this section or this subchapter shall be construed as creating a right or entitlement for any housing provider or other person.

(d) Distressed properties and new or rehabilitated vacant rental housing under §§ 42-3508.02 and 42-3508.03 shall have priority over other properties for participation in the Tenant Assistance Program so long as the tenants who reside in distressed property and who receive assistance from the Tenant Assistance Program are doing so consistent with the provisions of § 42-3503.03(c).


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 804, 32 DCR 3089; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-192, § 13(h), 33 DCR 7836.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2584.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 42-407, § 42-3503.02, and § 42-3508.05.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


§ 42–3508.05. Distressed property improvement plan.

(a) Upon petition by the housing provider, the Mayor may initiate the development of a distressed property improvement plan utilizing any or all of the mechanisms in § 42-3508.04(b). The development of the plan shall involve the participation of the housing provider, the tenants or tenants’ association and may include the mortgagor.

(b) A distressed property improvement plan may include, but not be limited to:

(1) A schedule of repairs and capital improvements;

(2) A schedule of services and facilities;

(3) A schedule of rents and rent increases;

(4) A schedule of mortgage payments which may reflect additional long-term loans to the housing provider for the housing accommodation;

(5) A schedule of additional capital investment in the housing accommodation by the housing provider; and

(6) A schedule of property tax payments, which may also reflect moratoria or deferrals on property tax payments and the abatement or deferral of up to 100% of any tax outstanding on the housing accommodation.

(c) In the development of the distressed property improvement plan, the Mayor may consider:

(1) The interests of tenants in achieving decent, safe, and sanitary housing at affordable rents;

(2) The long-term interest of the housing provider in achieving a sound investment and a reasonable return on the housing provider’s investment;

(3) The long-term interest of the mortgagor in achieving a financially secure mortgage; and

(4) The long-term interest of the District in achieving a decent, safe, and sanitary housing accommodation which is fiscally sound and which generates and pays its fair property tax assessment.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 805, 32 DCR 3089.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2585.

Expiration of Law

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.


§ 42–3508.06. Incentives for development of single-room-occupancy housing.

(a) The Mayor may provide tax abatements and deferral or forgiveness of water and sewer fees and other indebtedness to the District as incentives for the development of single-room-occupancy housing for low- and moderate-income tenants. These incentives shall be provided pursuant to negotiations and written agreements between the Mayor and housing providers engaged in the development or operation of single-room-occupancy housing accommodations. In these negotiations and written agreements, the Mayor may establish a formula for abating property tax liability for properties developed pursuant to this section for a period of not more than 10 years beginning during the first year that newly-constructed or rehabilitated single-room-occupancy housing becomes available for occupancy.

(b) The incentives provided by this section shall be available for new construction, renovation of any vacant rental housing accommodation, or renovation of any non-housing property, whether vacant or not, for single-room-occupancy housing.

(c) To qualify for the incentives provided by this section, the housing provider shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Mayor that the single-room-occupancy housing meets the following minimum standards:

(1) Rental rates are affordable for low- and moderate-income tenants and reflect costs offset by the tax abatements and deferral or forgiveness of indebtedness to the District provided pursuant to this section;

(2) The location is in compliance with the Zoning Regulations of the District of Columbia;

(3) Each rental unit includes no less than 95 square feet of space, and a clothing storage unit;

(4) Toilet and shower or bathing facilities are provided on each floor where tenants reside, in a reasonable size to meet the needs of the tenants residing on that floor;

(5) A common-space day room, kitchen, and laundry facilities sufficient to meet the needs of all tenants at 100% occupancy are provided;

(6) A 24-hour security system, either manual or electronic, is provided; and

(7) The housing accommodation has a resident manager who resides on the premises.

(d) Within 180 days from August 25, 1994, the Mayor shall compile, provide to the Council, and publish in the District of Columbia Register an initial list of District-owned and privately-owned properties in the District that are available and suitable for the development of single-room-occupancy housing in accordance with this section. At least annually thereafter, the Mayor shall publish a revised list and provide a written report to the Council regarding the status of single-room-occupancy housing development at these and other sites.


(July 17, 1985, D.C. Law 6-10, § 806; as added Aug. 25, 1994, D.C. Law 10-155, § 2(d), 41 DCR 4873.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 45-2586.

Editor's Notes

Termination of Law: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 42-3508.01.