1.1 out of 10

Washington Highlands

Ranked 67th best neighborhood in Washington
38.833939716175 -76.9931354504532
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Public Transport
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Pest Free
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"No High mark about these Lands"

There is so much evidence that the Highlands are trying to improve. More middle class housing has been established, a new center for recreation was recently started, and there are plans for the DC Public Library to open a branch in the area. But for this neighborhood in particular, these changes may be too little too late. Washington Highlands still ranks as one of the most dangerous areas in the entire city, and even new positive developments do little to overpower the sweeping emptiness that has unfortunately become the neighborhood's trademark. While it is noble that the area has taken such strides to gain a stronger sense of community, a potential homeowner could probably find a better place to live in any other part of the city.
Pros
  • rumors of future improvements
Cons
  • crime
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Tough place to live"

Washington Highlands is a neighborhood of approximately 11,931 residents located in the southeast section of the city along the Maryland state line. The neighborhood’s boundaries are generally defined as being within the footprint of Mississippi Avenue S.E., South Capitol Street S.E. and Southern Avenue S.E. In 2010, the average price of a home sold here was $110,745 with 20% of the homes being owner occupied. Homes here tend to be the typical “attached “row house” homes found in many neighborhoods within the District, along with numerous multifamily apartment projects. As with many neighborhoods there is a commercial component to the neighborhood as well.

The neighborhood is home to several schools including St. Thomas Moore School, National Collegiate Preparatory School and Septina Clark PCS. Recreational facilities are located at the Washington Highland Recreation Center. Restaurants and stores are located within the neighborhood, however they are somewhat restricted in their offerings so many will want to venture out for these activities. The Southern Avenue Metro station as well as numerous Metro Bus stops being located in the neighborhood offers residents excellent access to public transportation. Dedicated green space is available in the Oxon Run National Parkway as well as Oxon Hill Farm. United Medical Center is located here as are 3 places of worship.

Crime is where the neighborhood will lose its appeal to many. Recent crime statistics indicate that crimes against people and property occur regularly. As always check the most recent crime statistics and make an informed decision as to the crime risk in any neighborhood. I am going to give this neighborhood a pass. I really feel for the people that are forced to live here due to economic conditions and deal with the criminal element.
Cons
  • crime
  • poor housing choices
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"hopeless."

Unless you are truly desperate, Washington Highlands is not where you want to live. For a long time it has shared the reputation of being the worst part of the city, and it is the area where there are more rapes and murders per capita than just about anywhere else in the whole country! Seriously, you shouldn’t go here unless perhaps you want to go into the one gated community in the whole area. Personally, I wouldn’t even do that because outside the gates, chaos reigns.
The rest of the neighborhood is public housing complexes. This includes the worst one in the country and it is here that there is a lot of hopelessness. People get killed regularly, and nobody seems to want to do anything about it. Drugs and prostitution are everywhere. To make matters worse, the schools stink to high heaven. Something like a quarter of teenagers don’t graduate high school, and almost none get anything past that. As a result, they need minimum wage jobs. Compounding the probem is the fact that there are almost no jobs available anywhere, not even the minimum wage ones. I guess it is no wonder that so many end up living off the government and selling drugs to get by. Don’t expect the government to fix Washington Highlands any time soon.
Pros
  • rumors of future improvements
Cons
  • crime
  • poor housing choices
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Students
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Don't Even Think About It"

Washington Highlands is one of the largest and poorest neighborhoods in the District of Columbia. Almost every home in the area is occupied by a family living at or below the poverty level. As a result, there are few privately owned homes. Instead, most residents rent apartments in government subsidized housing projects. The most notorious of these housing projects is the large, Highland Dwellings complex. While the DC Housing Authority has promised $11 million dollars in stimulus funding to renovating the dilapidated building, there is a very good chance that a significant amount of that money will never make it into the building.

Another complex, the Wheeler Creek community, was built in 1997 as part of a federal grant. About a third of its units are set aside for senior adults, while about half are available to purchase by anyone. The rest are to one extent or another subsidized by government funding.

The one jewel in this very beat up crown is Walter Washington Estates, a gated community with middle class residents. Developers are hoping to add other, nicer homes, to draw in higher income residents.

While not exactly a jewel, I would like to give some credit to the greater Southeast Community Hospital that is located in the neighborhood and tries desperately to stay ahead of the every increasing medical needs of this population.

In order to do this, though, they are going to half to end the high number of violent crimes that have made Washington Highlands infamous. They are also going to have to improve the poorly managed local recreation facility.
Pros
  • rumors of future improvements
Cons
  • poor housing choices
  • crime

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