Eight years ago, Martin Trimble, then WIN’s lead organizer, challenged Juanita Hutchinson to name the thing that she would change if she had all the power in the world.
Access to affordable homes in her Deanwood Heights neighborhood. No question about it.
“I grew up in this area, I was born in this area, and I would like to stay in this area. I want to own my own home here.”
With the city giving multimillion-dollar tax breaks to wealthy developers in other parts of the city, Juanita wonders who these luxury buildings are for. “They’re not building these condos to be affordable. Washingtonians know how hard it is to be a homeowner.” Organizing for affordable Nehemiah homes with WIN is one of the ways that Juanita effectively changed this reality. On a cold January afternoon in 2011, Juanita and 100 WIN leaders from Beulah Baptist and other WIN churches celebrated at the groundbreaking of 63 new Nehemiah townhomes at Dix and Eastern Avenues in Ward 7. They are now completed and fulfilling Juanita’s vision.
“For seven years we have been fighting to transform these abandoned and vacant buildings into affordable housing. Praise God! Now I have a chance to realize my dream and buy my own home three blocks from where I grew up and near my church. Organized people and organized money move things. WIN teaches you how to organize, how to meet with who you need to meet with to get things done…to get respect….to get what you deserve!”
UrbanMatters Development Partners L.L.C. (WIN’s partner Community Development Corporation) partnered with Denning Development and Beulah Community Improvement Corporation to secure the development rights from the District of Columbia’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for the planning and development of a distressed, vacant apartment complex encumbered by restrictive covenants by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Designed with Energy Star and Green Community features, Eden Place at Beulah Crossing consists of 63 new construction townhomes featuring three-story, craftsman architectural style offering 3 bedrooms with 2.5 baths and open floor plans, private yards and community open space. Eden Place is a 100% affordable community available for first time homebuyers. In partnership with the District of Columbia’s New Communities program, this development delivers workforce training, apprenticeship and local hiring opportunities for D.C. residents and Certified Business Enterprises.