Washington, DC (STL.News) Mayor Muriel Bowser launched a new one-stop shop to connect current and future homeowners in the District to more than 50 resources that help residents thrive as DC homeowners. The site, frontdoor.dc.gov, makes District resources more accessible so that residents can prepare to buy a home, get help paying their mortgage, make home repairs and improvements, save money on their property taxes, and navigate the requirements of homeownership.
“This tool is one more way we can put homeownership in reach for more Washingtonians and help more long-time residents keep and maintain their homes. We have developed many programs to give residents a fair shot, but people don’t always know about those programs or know how to access them – this site can help change that,” said Mayor Bowser. “Whether you are looking to become a first-time homeowner, looking to reduce your property taxes, or looking for help with paying your mortgage, Front Door can help you navigate the process and get connected to the many programs and supports we have available at DC Government.”
The District has established dozens of resources for homeowners and prospective homeowners across more than a dozen agencies. Without a central hub for these resources, residents must navigate on their own, and may miss out on assistance they are eligible to receive. Front Door allows residents to:
- Figure out which of the 50+ housing resources they might qualify for by answering just nine simple questions;
- Learn about each resource in easy-to-understand descriptions, easy-to-follow eligibility criteria, and step-by-step instructions to apply; as well as
- Discover all that is available to current and prospective homeowners by browsing through a library of programs based on their interests, needs, and circumstances.
- Front Door is part of Mayor Bowser’s 2019 Order on Housing, directing District agencies to identify new policies, tools, and initiatives to fulfill her bold goal of creating 36,000 new housing units, 12,000 of them affordable, by 2025.
“Mayor Bowser has made historic investments in housing. Because of those investments, we’ve been able to expand our first-time homeownership programs, help teachers and first responders buy homes in DC, make it more affordable for our seniors to age in place, and expand mortgage down payment assistance to give more residents a fair shot,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “When it comes to homeownership, there are now more pathways to the middle class, and Front Door will open them for all residents to see.”
This citywide solution was developed by The Lab @ DC, in collaboration with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and 12 other DC agencies. Front Door was shaped by the experiences of and feedback from housing counselors, residents, practitioners, and advocates. The “resident-centered design” behind Front Door means that it was specifically created with residents’ goals in mind as well as the sticking points or points of confusion that might prevent them from achieving those goals. Front Door is built to be a living resource that continuously updates as the District expands its portfolio of services to meet residents’ housing needs.
“This project has been about repeatedly asking ourselves what resources do homeowners need to purchase, maintain, and enjoy their homes,” said Sam Quinney, Director of The Lab @ DC. “And how do we give them the clearest information about what DC Government has to offer. By adopting a resident-centered perspective, we’ve worked to make District resources easy to find, understand, and receive.”
The Lab @ DC is a scientific team based in the Office of the City Administrator that works to meet DC’s most critical problems with scientific insights and methods, resident-centered design, and productive partnerships with District agencies and residents.