The Cheapest Neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. for Renters in 2022

The nation’s capital has so many things to do and so many affordable places to live.

Washington, D.C. is a thriving, vibrant city. It’s far more than just the seat of the country’s government and history. It’s a modern metropolis full of things to do, from bars and nightclubs to outdoor activities. There are enough museums and art galleries to keep you busy for two lifetimes. Everywhere you turn, there’s something going on, whether it’s concerts in the park or lectures at the library.

D.C. is one of the most diverse cities in the country. You’re likely to run into people from all over the nation and even the world. It’s even become one of the most popular cities in the U.S. for hipsters, thanks to a thriving bar and brewery scene. You’ll find your social circle here, no matter what it is!

Most of the neighborhoods are walkable and public transportation is readily available. Many residents don’t even own a car. If you’re moving to D.C. and pick the right neighborhood, you can get around using just the subway and the bus.

What is the average rent in Washington, D.C.?

The average rent in Washington, D.C. in January of 2022 was $2,604 for a two-bedroom apartment. This is a 15.87 percent increase over the prior year.

The 10 cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

No matter what your tastes are, you can find a place you love in D.C. There are historic neighborhoods side by side with modern ones. The District is eight separate wards, each of which consists of multiple neighborhoods. While D.C. has a well-deserved reputation for being expensive, you can find some deals if you look.

These are the 10 cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. in descending order. Most of them are on the southeastern side of the city and are an easy commute to the Capitol District and Downtown.

10. Southeast Washington

Southeast Washington

Southeast Washington

Source: Rent.com/Washington View
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,856
  • Rent change since 2021: -33.83%

Coming in at No. 10 on the list of cheapest places to live in Washington, D.C., Southeast Washington is south of Capitol Hill. It’s home to the Library of Congress and the Navy Yard. Fort Dupont Park holds concerts every summer and you can watch baseball games at National Park.

This neighborhood is popular with families. The schools are above average. Southeast Washington is well-connected to public transportation. Many people even walk to work. There’s also an ample number of restaurants and small stores located here.

9. Greenway

Greenway

Greenway

Source: Rent.com/Milestone Apartments
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,609
  • Rent change since 2021: 0%

You’ll find Greenway on the southeast side of the city. It’s bounded by Pennsylvania Ave SE on the southern end and East Capitol Street on the north. It’s a residential neighborhood with plenty of families and young professionals.

Greenway has many parks and Fort Dupont Park runs along part of the eastern side of the neighborhood. There aren’t many shopping, entertainment or restaurant options within the neighborhood itself, but there are plenty within easy reach. If you want a primarily residential area that’s still in the heart of D.C., Greenway is a good choice.

8. Fort Dupont

Fort Dupont

Fort Dupont

Source: Rent.com/Fort Dupont Overlook
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,609
  • Rent change since 2021: 0%

This neighborhood is on the southeastern side of D.C. and is home to both Fort Dupont Park and Fort Chaplin Park. The Benning Stoddard Recreation Center is also here. You’ll never run out of things to do if you like outdoor activities and live in Fort Dupont!

Many families call Fort Dupont home. It’s easy to get to public transportation and to commute anywhere in the city by car. The residential focus means you won’t find much in the way of nightlife, but there are a few restaurants and grocery stores to choose from.

7. Barry Farm

Barry Farm, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

Barry Farm, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

Source: Rent.com/Pomeroy Gardens
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,541
  • Rent change since 2021: +0.63%

A historic neighborhood on the southeast side of D.C., Barry Farm has a dense urban feel and is primarily residential. Barry Farm has the distinction of being one of the few neighborhoods created by the Freedman’s Bureau after the Civil War that’s still in existence. It’s bounded by Suitland Parkway, the Southeast Freeway and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Barry Farm is the neighborhood park and gives the neighborhood its name. It’s mostly residential but amenities are nearby, as is access to public transportation. Easy access to the highways also makes commuting a breeze. It’s popular with families, as more than a third of the residents are families with small children.

6. Marshall Heights

Marshall Heights

Marshall Heights

Source: Rent.com/5430 C St. SE
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,475
  • Rent change since 2021: 0%

Marshall Heights is No. 6 on the list of most affordable neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. It’s on the southeastern edge of the city not too far from the Anacostia River. There are two subway stops and multiple bus stops within the neighborhood, and it also has easy access to the interstates for commuting.

Numerous parks and two recreation centers are here. There’s limited shopping and entertainment options, but it’s easy to access other areas of the city. Many families call Marshall Heights home. Shopping and restaurant choices are also limited.

5. Anacostia

Anacostia, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

Anacostia, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

Source: Rent.com/Marbury Plaza
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,428
  • Rent change since 2021: +5.10%

This neighborhood borders Anacostia Park and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s full of parks and museums, such as the Frederick Douglas National Historic Site. Bike paths crisscross the neighborhood and its also served by both the D.C. Metro and the bus line. Anacostia is only a 10-minute subway ride from Downtown D.C.

The Anacostia Playhouse assures you’ll never run out of cultural events, and there are concerts in the parks every summer. While primarily residential, the neighborhood is home to supermarkets, restaurants and a few shopping centers, as well.

4. Congress Heights

Congress Heights

Congress Heights

Source: Rent.com/Meadowbrook Run
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,286
  • Rent change since 2021: -3.72%

An up-and-coming historic neighborhood in southeastern D.C., Congress Heights has Anacostia Park and Joint-Base Anacostia Boiling on the west and the headquarters of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Entertainment and Sports Arena on the north and the Oxon Run National Parkway on the east. Not bad for one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.!

Entertainment is what draws many people to live in Congress Heights. The Entertainment and Sports Arena has basketball games and live music year-round. If arts and culture are more your thing, check out the Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center, a place dedicated to showcasing local artists. The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) and the Southeast Campus of the Washington Ballet are also located here.

You can also check out any of the many cafés and bars, spend time at numerous parks and work out at the SE Tennis & Learning Center. Like most D.C. neighborhoods, Congress Heights is well-connected to public transportation.

3. Bellevue

Bellevue, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

Bellevue, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C.

Source: Rent.com/The Vista
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,200
  • Rent change since 2021: 0%

A historic neighborhood on the southeastern side of the District, Bellevue is almost surrounded by parks. It’s a great place to live if you want easy access to green space in the middle of the city! The Bald Eagle Recreation Center also has a 6,600-square-foot gym with a boxing ring, workout space and showers. Fort Greble Park has a splash pad and community garden.

Bellevue is a popular neighborhood for families with young children. Its location makes it easy to get to big employers, such as the Navy Yard and Joint Base Anacostia-Boiling. It’s only a 10-minute drive from the U.S. Capitol. There aren’t many shopping options within the neighborhood, but there are several large shopping centers nearby.

2. Historic Anacostia

Historic Anacostia

Historic Anacostia

Source: Rent.com/2317 16th St. SE
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,122
  • Rent change since 2021: 0%

This is a smaller subsection of the larger Anacostia neighborhood and consists almost entirely of historic buildings erected between 1854 and 1930. It has one of the most unique architectural spaces of any neighborhood in the entire city. If you’re a fan of period architecture, you’ll love this neighborhood!

One of the best features of the neighborhood, aside from being one of the cheapest places to live in Washington, D.C., is Anacostia Park, an absolutely beautiful park adjoining the neighborhood on the western side and buffering it from the Anacostia River. You’ll find a variety of restaurants and shopping options within the neighborhood.

Despite its age, Historic Anacostia is part of the modern world with a connection to the D.C. Metro at Howard Road SE. Young professionals love this neighborhood with its easy commute to downtown and other employment centers.

1. Washington Highlands

Washington Highlands, the cheapest neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Washington Highlands, the cheapest neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Source: Rent.com/Overlook
  • Average 2-BR rent: $1,099
  • Rent change since 2021: +0.65%

Washington Highlands tops the list of cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. in 2022. This neighborhood is popular with families who have young children and the elderly. It sits between Oxon Run Park and Oxon Run National Parkway on the southeastern side of D.C. United Medical Center, a major local hospital, is on the northeastern border of the neighborhood.

Interstate 294 and Highway 210 are both easily accessible from this neighborhood. Public transportation also connects to the rest of the city. The Ferebee-Hope recreation center has indoor and outdoor basketball courts, an aquatic center and a gym. The other parks also have athletic facilities, and the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center are nearby.

You can catch cultural events at the ARC cultural arts center and the Oxon Run Amphitheater. There isn’t much nightlife in the area, but it’s an easy commute to more party-friendly neighborhoods of the city. You’ll also need to travel to find many shopping and eating options.

The most expensive neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

While the above list contains the most affordable neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., the most expensive neighborhood is Dupont Circle. You’ll need to bring home some serious money to afford it. A two-bedroom apartment in this neighborhood averaged $5,045 per month in January of 2022. That’s an increase of 7.48 percent over January of 2021.

Dupont Circle is an older neighborhood in the center of D.C. It’s a walkable neighborhood full of historic buildings and some of the most recognizable landmarks in the District, such as the Woodrow Wilson House. It’s popular with childless professionals. This is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the city, which is part of the reason it’s so expensive.

Find an affordable neighborhood for your next apartment

Washington, D.C. is an incredible place to live. Whether you’re into government, history or just modern urban living, you’ll love living in the nation’s capital. There are many apartments for rent in Washington, D.C. Use this list of the cheapest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. to help you find your perfect match.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory as of January 2022. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Source: rent.com