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Lauren Hines and her husband had three people stay at their small Capitol Hill apartment during the 2009 inauguration, so many that one slept in a hallway. She and her husband now live in Alexandria and planned to host her father-in-law, and maybe mother-in-law, from Ohio. Ms. Hines said they didn’t even consider a hotel.

“They know that they’ve always got a place with us,” she said.