With locals hotels unable to provide enough rooms to meet the demand for the unprecedented crowd headed to the District of Columbia for the January 20, 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty today issued an executive order temporarily suspending rules requiring residents renting out rooms to first acquire a business license and certificate of occupancy.
The suspension of the normal rental rules to facilitate inaugural housing rentals will be in effect from January 13-January 27, 2009.
Inauguralhomes.com Inagural Housing Rentals
With the unprecedented demand for inaugural housing, a new website has sprung up to act as a go-between for prospective inaugural renters and landlords. Inauguralhomes.com charges fees from $9.95 to $49.95 for listing homes for rent on the site. The inaugurahomes site lists homes in DC as well as homes well beyond the DC suburbs at prices from $350 per day to upwards of $3000 per day. Photos of the homes’ interiors are available for viewing and a description of each home’s amenities is also provided.
Community-based Inaugural Room Rentals
Last week, Silver Spring, Maryland residents discussed on a local listserve the going rate for room rentals for the inaugural festivities. One church is organizing residents who wish to rent rooms at reasonable prices; while plans have not been finalized, one resident noted that $200 per night for B& B service is not unreasonable given that not-so-nice hotels are charging $500 and up.
Craigslist Inaugural Rental HousingRentals
Out-of-towners relying on resources such as craigslist to locate inaugural housing would be well advised to arm themselves with a detailed street map and a metro map to use while choosing a rental. Today’s inaugural housing listings on craigslist contain a few reasonably priced rooms and many out-of the-world, out-of-the-way offerings: One house in the Distict is offered at $14,000 for a 5 day rental; one house way out in Manassas, Virginia is offered at $6,500 for a 5 day rental, some 32 miles and a torturous drive from the nation’s capital.
Cheapinauguralrentals Blog Inaugural HousingRentals
The blog cheapinsuguralrentals at wordpress was started as an effort to help those looking for cheap rentals find those offering affordable spaces, but it seems to have been overcome by the inaugural hype and the prices listed there are decidedly un-cheap.
Washington DC Official Tourism Site Inaugural Hotel Rental Information and Tips
Washington, DC’s official tourism site has a section devoted to the inauguration including inaugural housing. Some of the area’s 95,000 hotel rooms may still be available, according to the site, but conditions are changing rapidly. Many hotels will require a 5 day stay and pre-payment. The tourism site has valuable tips for those who do make it to DC including advice to purchase Metro fare cards in advance and to allow a lot of extra time to navigate the crowds and security checkpoints. At the Mall’s annual 4th of July event this year, which was nowhere near the anticipated size of the inaugural, my family waited so long to get through security onto the Capitol grounds to hear the National Symphony that the concert was almost over by the time we were able to claim a space on the lawn.
Leaving for the Metro hours early with a previously purchased fare card in hand, assuming an attitude of good cheer and plentiful patience and dressing like a polar bear are essentials for anyone hoping to participate in the inaugural festivities.
Sources: http://www.washingtoncontinent.com/TWCstories/TWCnewspages2008/fenty_suspends_residential_busin_08_091000355.htm; http://www.inauguralhomes.com/houses.php?page=2&s=; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/queenannes1/message/7050; http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/sub/; http://cheapinaugurationrentals.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/i-have-a-place/; http://www.washington.org/visiting/experience-dc/presidential-inauguration/information .