Or, if you prefer, affordable housing is now an upper-middle class problem. Not a gentry class problem, but definitely one for the upper-middle class. Consider the median D.C. household income–which is pretty good compared to many places!–of $77,686. Affordable housing, commonly defined as thirty percent of your pre-tax income, would be $1,942/month. There are very few places near mass transit that cost that ‘little’ in D.C.; overall, one bedroom apartments cost $2,220 and two bedrooms cost $2,810, a ten percent increase in one year (these are medians). And that is household income: if you need a two-bed apartment with kids, well, then, you’re pretty much screwed. If you live somewhere far away from mass transit, then you need to own a car, and that adds hundreds of dollars of expenses per month.
If you need two bedrooms, the median D.C. livable income is $112,400. There are places that are cheaper, but most of them aren’t near mass transit and require a car. I’ve never been a dogmatic YIMBY, but we desperately need more housing in D.C.–and more extensive and better mass transit.