Preserving affordable homes for communities

The Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC) is a nonprofit organization (501c3) that preserves homes that are affordable so residents in our communities—particularly moderate to low-income African Americans and other residents of color–can focus on the opportunity to build wealth, instead of the risk of escalating rents.

By acquiring and owning 3,000 units of affordable housing, WHC is stabilizing rents, preventing displacement, and creating communities where moderate to low-income residents and their families want to be.

What Makes Us Different

In a “hot” real estate market like the DC-region, affordable homes have become a scarce resource. Our particular focus is preventing displacement for moderate to low-income workers, like firefighters, teachers and hospitality workers, who find themselves increasingly priced out of their homes, and provide rent stability and opportunities to thrive and build wealth.

We work in neighborhoods of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing—or NOAH. In these communities, absent government subsidy, rental properties are at risk of losing their affordability—and their economic and racial diversity—from redevelopment.

Home represents the ultimate building block or stumbling block in someone’s life. For some, home has been a way to build wealth and opportunity. For others, home has meant displacement, escalating rents and instability that make it almost impossible to imagine a different future.

Centuries of racist practices and attitudes has exacerbated disparities in housing and individual wealth, especially between white and Black households. A report from the Center for American Progress estimates that if these differences continue, it could take more than 200 years for the average Black family to accumulate the same amount of wealth as white families.

WHC is creating inclusive and diverse mixed-income communities of individuals and families in a targeted income range of between $40,000 and $120,000. In addition, we will house a small percentage (25-30%) of residents with incomes below $40,000.

Our Structure

The Washington Housing Conservancy is part of the Washington Housing Initiative, which is building a model for systemic change through three primary vehicles.

Stakeholder Council


Impact Pool


WHC is governed by an independent board of civic leaders.

Joshua Bernstein

Chief Executive Officer of Bernstein Management Corporation

Kevin Clinton

Board Chair

Chief Program Officer for the Federal City Council

Carol Thompson Cole

President and CEO of Youth Invest Partners

Kimberly Driggins

Executive Director, WHC

Maria S. Gomez

Former President + CEO, Mary’s Center

Cary Hatch

CEO of MDB Communications

Charlene Drew Jarvis

Former Director at National Women's Business Center, Inc. 

Mark Joseph

Founding Director, National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities (NIMC)

David Martin

Partner at ArentFox Schiff

David Roodberg

CEO of DJR Assoc.

Deborah Ratner Salzberg

Principal at Uplands Real Estate Partners

Eshauna Smith

Director of Community Impact, Ballmer Group

Aakash Thakkar

Chief Acquisitions Officer, EYA, LLC

Rob Stewart

Board Emeritus
Chair of JBG SMITH’s Board of Trustees

Our Team

Kimberly Driggins

Executive Director

Shira Helstrom

General Counsel - Partner Arent Fox Schiff

Sawa Kamara

Social Impact Coordinator

Yvette Ross Kane

Director of Asset Management

Jackie Keller

Office Manager & Executive Assistant

Kathy Smith

Director of Development

Our Partners

Federal City Council

Established in 1954, the Federal City Council is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the improvement of the District of Columbia.


JBG Smith is an S&P 400 company that owns, operates, invests in and develops assets concentrated in leading urban infill submarkets in and around Washington, DC.


The National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities (NIMC) at Case Western Reserve University is an impact research center focused on urban equity and inclusion. It is the only center in the country focused exclusively on creating and sustaining mixed-income communities in the United States.

Our Supporters

Since launching in 2018, the Washington Housing Conservancy has secured $19M in philanthropic support from a diverse mix of individual, corporate and foundation donors. WHC wants to thank our visionary philanthropic partners for supporting WHC’s mission and values to preserve and expand affordable workforce housing in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Donors listed below have given a cumulative amount of $5,000 or more since our inception.

If you would like to partner with WHC, please contact us HERE or email

$1 Million+

Amazon Housing Equity Fund
Diane & Norman Bernstein Family Foundation
Huron Philanthropies
Robert and Arlene Kogod
TD Charitable Foundation
The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
The Robert I. Schattner Foundation

Corporate Supporters  

Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Brown Advisory
Kaiser Permanente
The M&T Charitable Foundation
Truist Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation

Foundation Supporters

Dweck Philanthropies
New Profit
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
The Motley Fool Foundation

Individual Supporters

Alan and Amy Meltzer
Brian Allan “AJ” Jackson
Kathleen and Steve Theriot
Kimberly Driggins
Lawrence and Melanie Nussdorf
Lisa and Joshua Bernstein
Margaret A. Hamburg and Peter F. Brown
Mark M. Katz and Cynthia C. Hogan
Rob and Sheri Rosenfeld
The Coulter Family Foundation
The Michael & Deborah Ratner Salzberg Family Foundation
Matt Kelly & Jessica D. Mailloux

Preserving housing affordability and promoting economic mobility in the DC-region

The Washington Housing Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your investment helps us expand our work. Your gift is 100% tax-deductible. EIN 83-1866109

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