On October 10, 2023, D.C. Policy Center Executive Director Yesim Sayin was cited by The Wash:
That’s because regions like these are easier to build upon, said Yesim Sayin, executive director of the D.C. Policy Center, a nonprofit research center. “The zoning is more permissive than, say Wards 3 or 6, with a lot of opportunity to build medium to high density housing,” Sayim said.
Large swaths of D.C. are zoned for low-density single-family units that must be 7,500 square feet or larger, according to a D.C. Policy Center study. But Wards 8, 7, 5, and parts of Ward 3 are prominently zoned for semi-detached homes — single-family homes joined by a wall, which allows for increased density, the study found. More than that, semi-detached homes are usually more affordable than single-family homes, as construction and utility costs are usually cheaper for the former housing option.
At least in Ward 8, Sayin said housing development hasn’t stalled yet. The District still has many parcels of land available to it, which should make way for over 2,500 units, she said.
Related D.C. Policy Center publication: Single-family zoning and neighborhood characteristics in the District of Columbia