Trouble at Sedgwick Gardens

In D.C.’s Cleveland Park, a neighborhood that reporter Peter Jamison describes as a “bastion of urbane liberalism,” a stately apartment complex called the Sedgwick Gardens is something of an experimental subject for a combination of various progressive housing policies. “As of February, tenants with city-issued housing vouchers had filled nearly half of the building’s roughly 140 units,” and many of the new tenants “are homeless men and women who came directly from shelters or the streets, some still struggling with severe behavioral problems.” Jamison tells the story in this Washington Post article (reprinted at Seattle Times).

More on the District of Columbia’s “source of income discrimination” law, under which landlords commit a violation if they reject a prospective tenant because he or she will be paid for by a voucher, here and here.


  • Last I checked, a voucher isn’t money, so isn’t legal tender.

  • Put the homeless in the same apartment buildings as or in houses next to political campaign contributors.

  • That housing law also bars discrimination in provision of rental housing by “Matriculation”,

    I’m wondering how universities such as GWU and American can legally restrict their dormitories to their own students.

  • An interesting incentive for DC landlords– apartments that enroll in this scheme are removed from rent control once the special tenant moves on. Also, apartment management might not be so eager to respond to the complaints of rent control tenants.

    An interesting trade-off– getting apartments out of rent control, but seeing their free-market value decline due to the building’s bad reputation.