Gentrification eats away at shelter options for domestic-abuse victims

The District’s booming housing market is shrinking the number of apartments and shelter beds available for victims of domestic violence, even as the number of city residents needing such shelter continues to rise, advocates say.

The rising cost of housing and a loss of private money means nonprofits can subsidize the rent for fewer than 20 abuse victims a year, down from 45 apartment subsidies two years ago. At the same time, the District’s only short-term crisis shelter for abuse victims and their families has shrunk from 22 apartments to 18, and the shelter must relocate because those units are being put on the market come fall.

The scarcity of housing, advocates say, means domestic-violence victims sometimes stay with their abusers rather than impose on friends and family or escape to a homeless shelter or the streets.

“When we ask survivors why they had to stay, one of

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