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
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.
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
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
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Safety statistics and other related information about Washington area neighborhoods
can be obtained by calling the appropriate local police department for the particular area:
Arlington County, VA
City of Alexandria, VA
Fairfax County, VA
Falls Church City, VA
Montgomery County, MD
Prince George’s County, MD
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.”
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.
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.
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
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 email@example.com, or visit
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.
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,
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.
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.
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].
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
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.
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.