Coming to Washington, DC? Sources of Information on Temporary Housing

Order Code RS20505 Updated April 23, 2004 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Coming to Washington, DC? Sources of Information on Temporary Housing J. Michael Anderson Information Research Specialist Information Research Division Summary This report will introduce a newcomer to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area to sources of general interest, neighborhoods, housing, and public transportation. The intended audience is congressional staff needing short-term or summer housing, although many of the sources given may also be helpful for those needing more than a three- to six-month lease. Sources suggested are often accessible at their Internet addresses, which are provided. This report will be updated annually. Basic Information Someone considering a move to a different city or part of the country often wants specific facts to offset or confirm information learned from the media or from friends. The official Washington, DC, tourism website, [http://www.washington.org/], is a good source for topics of general interest for those planning a temporary or permanent move to the Washington metropolitan area. For information about the Northern Virginia area, visit [http://www.virginia.org] or call (804) 786-4484. For information about the two Maryland counties that border Washington, DC, visit [http://www.pgparks.com] and [http://www.goprincegeorgescounty.com] or phone (301) 350-9700 for Prince George’s County and visit [http://www.co.mo.md.us] or phone (240) 777-1000 for Montgomery County. Choosing a Neighborhood For many, the next step in beginning a search for housing in an unfamiliar city is to learn about its various neighborhoods. The American University Housing Web page at [http://american.edu/index1.html] gives a concise view of a number of Washington, DC, neighborhoods, including public transportation options and eating and entertainment highlights. Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress CRS-2 Safety statistics and other related information about Washington area neighborhoods can be obtained by calling the appropriate local police department for the particular area: Washington, DC (202) 727-4383 Arlington County, VA (703) 228-4330 City of Alexandria, VA (703) 838-4520 Fairfax County, VA (703) 691-2131 Falls Church City, VA (703) 241-5053 Montgomery County, MD (240) 773-5125 Prince George’s County, MD (301) 336-8800 Online Newspaper Sources for Housing Washington City Paper. The City Paper offers detailed online listings of housing to rent and to share. Visit its website at [http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com]. Once in the system, select “housing” under “Classifieds.” Washington Post. The Post offers an extensive online list of apartments and homes to rent. The Saturday edition contains a section called “Apartment Living,” which most weeks has almost 50 pages of advertisements for rental apartments. At [http://www.washingtonpost.com], click on “real estate” under “Marketplace.” Washington Times. The Times also offers an extensive list of housing possibilities. At [http://www.washingtontimes.com], click on “Classifieds” under “Marketplace” and then “real estate.” Universities American University. AU, located in Northwest DC, offers summer housing from May 15 to July 28, 2004. Rates range from $209/week for a double and $250/week for a single. For more information on housing at American University, call (202) 8853370 or visit the university’s summer housing Web page. [http://www.american.edu/ocl/housing/summer_housing_conferences/intern_housing. html]. Catholic University of America. CU, located in Northeast DC, offers summer housing from May 22 to August 7, 2004. Rates range from $24-$32/night for a double and $22-$34/night for a single. For more information, contact Catholic University, telephone (202) 319-5291, or visit its website. [http://conferences.cua.edu/summer/]. Gallaudet University. Gallaudet, located in Northeast DC, offers intern housing for Gallaudet students from May 15 to August 2004. Rates per person range from $300/week for a single to $165/week for a double. There is no pro-rating for shorter CRS-3 stays. A two-week minimum stay is required. For more information, call (202) 6515375. George Washington University. GWU, located in downtown Washington (near Foggy Bottom Metro station), offers summer housing from May 23 to August 7, 2004. There is a five-week minimum stay. Costs range from $196-$273/week. For more information, fax to (202) 994-6730, e-mail sumhouse@gwu.edu, or visit [http://gwired.gwu.edu/summer]. Georgetown University. Georgetown, which is located in Northwest DC, offers accommodations on a first come, first served basis from May 30 to August 7, 2004. A shuttle service is provided because Georgetown is not near a Metro station. There are rooms and furnished apartments. A three-week minimum stay is required for residence halls; an eight-week stay is required for apartments. The costs vary, so call the housing office at (202) 687-3001 or visit its summer housing Web page. [http://housing.georgetown.edu/summer/]. Howard University. Howard, located in upper Northwest DC, in the Shaw neighborhood, offers accommodations from June 1 to July 31, 2004, at a rate of $30 per night. Requests for housing must be submitted in writing. For more information, contact the university at (202) 806-5661 or visit Howard’s summer housing Web page, [http://www.howard.edu/howardlife/residence/summer_conference_and_group_hous. htm]. University of Maryland. The university, located in College Park, MD, does not provide nonstudent summer housing. Call (301) 314-3645 for information. For temporary housing near the College Park campus, nonstudents should visit the university’s website at [http://www.umd.edu/OCH]. Websites for Apartment Listings Most unfurnished apartment leases are between 6 and 12 months in length. Occasionally, a lease for unfurnished and furnished apartments can be found for just three months. The following websites offer information about apartments. All Apartments. This site allows one to search an extensive database for apartments available in the DC metropolitan area. [http://www.springstreet.com]. Weichert Rental Network. This is a free apartment locator service for DC, Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, and Baltimore. While one cannot search their listings online, one can use the website to access a detailed apartment request form to which they guarantee a response within 24 hours. Call toll-free (888) 994-7368. [http://www.apartmentsolutions.com] Equity Corporate Housing. This firm places individuals in short-term furnished apartments in Washington, Northern Virginia, and suburban Maryland. Parking and utilities are included in the price of most apartments. For additional information, call tollfree (877) 234-5005 or visit [http://www.equitycorporatehousing.com]. CRS-4 Washington Internship Student Housing (WISH). WISH is a privately owned property management company that caters to Capitol Hill interns. Housing is arranged on a university quarter system (January-April, May-August, and SeptemberDecember). For more information, call (202) 547-7767 or visit the website at [http://www.internsdc.com]. Public Transportation Metrorail (subway) and Metrobus provide the most efficient way of getting around Washington. Five rail lines and an extensive bus system connect Washington, DC, with the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Metro lines are named for colors: red, yellow, blue, green, and orange. Metro train stations open at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. They close at midnight, Sunday through Thursday, and at 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. The base fare is $1.20, with higher fares based on time of day and length of the trip. Station entrances are marked by brown pylons, capped with the letter “M” and with colored stripes to indicate which lines are available at that station. A row of farecard machines will be at the bottom of the escalator. Purchase your farecard after first consulting the Metro map and fare chart. The biggest bill accepted by the farecard machines is a $20; however, these machines return change only up to $5 and in coins, with quarters the largest. All machines accept major credit cards. Unfortunately, the Metro staff present in the central area of the station is not equipped to give change. Before proceeding to the trains, insert your farecard into the turnstile gates. The card will usually pop out at the back. Look for the brown pylon that indicates which side of the subway platform to use. The train’s color is indicated on the front of the first car; the final stop is displayed next to the doors. At your destination, reinsert your card into the turnstile. The fare is automatically deducted. If there is money left, your card will pop up again. If you need to continue your trip by Metro bus, be sure to obtain a bus transfer at your originating station before boarding the train. Buses travel to Georgetown and other areas not serviced by Metro. To obtain more precise information about schedules, special fares, parking, and other information, visit Metro’s website at [http://www.wmata.com]. To obtain schedules for connecting Metrobus service, locations of Metro farecard sales offices, other public transportation information, and free Metro pocket guides, or to learn about coming events and how to get to the events by Metro, call (202) 637-7000. Disclaimer This information is offered with no assurances from the Congressional Research Service of accuracy beyond the contact telephone numbers and Web addresses as of April 23, 2004. In addition, inclusion in this report does not represent an endorsement of the facilities or services cited.