Striving for Affordable HousingWIN has been organizing on the issue of affordable housing since its founding in the mid-1990’s. When Rufaro Jenkins, a leader at Brighter Day UMC & former tenant of Parkway Overlook Apartments asked at an action, “Raise your hand if you or someone you know is struggling to find affordable housing in DC,” every hand in the building rose. In over two decades of on-the-ground work, WIN has worked alongside city-wide allies to produce over 1,300 units of affordable rental and home ownership units, with hundreds more in the pipeline. We have organized for the improvement and preservation of hundreds of units. Year in, year out, WIN has contributed, along with many other advocates in the District, to the effort to fund affordable housing in the DC budgets.
Parkway OverlookWIN organized to preserve 220 units of low income housing at Parkway Overlook in Ward 8 located across the street from WIN-member Brighter Day Ministries’ A.P. Shaw Campus. Ribbon Cutting occurred in Spring 2019.
Kingston Apartments (Ward 4 Brightwood)23 units of TOPA preservation were acquired in 2017. 15 units were made available for households at or below 50% AMI and will remain affordable for no less than 40 years; the other 8 units were made available for households at or below 80% AMI.
John and Jill Kerr Conway Residence/North Capitol CommonsWIN participated at the groundbreaking for North Capitol Commons (N. Capitol and K Street NE). This new complex, completed in November 2016, is a 124 unit development: 60 units to house homeless veterans and 64 units affordable at 60% AMI. WIN organized for the dedication of the land to permanent supportive housing, defended the federal allocation for capital funds, and supported the land disposition.
Emory Beacon CenterA mixed-use development project of the Emory Beacon of Light in the Brightwood neighborhood with 99 units of affordable housing units (91 for families and 8 for permanent supportive housing). WIN organized to support the project at the Historic Preservation Review Board after the site was declared historic. The project was ultimately approved, and the groundbreaking ceremony took place October 7, 2016.
Homestead ApartmentsIn 2015 and 2016, UrbanMatters worked with apartment residents to complete a TOPA tenant purchase of their building to preserve 45 units of affordable housing right off Georgia Avenue.
Eastbrooke ApartmentsOn September 25th, 2015, UrbanMatters and WIN held a packed-out ceremony to celebrate the opening of 39 affordable apartment homes called the Eastbrooke at Beulah Crossing! Where a blighted lot was an eyesore in the Deanwood Heights community for decades, there are now beautiful 1, 2, and 3 bedroom affordable apartment homes with modern kitchens, a community room with free wi-fi , and a library, gym and business center for resident use. The project was financed with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, tax exempt bonds, private financing, and a District affordable housing investment.
Brightwood CommunitiesWIN and UrbanMatters celebrated the groundbreaking in April 2015 of the Brightwood Portfolio, a $32.2M development of 140 affordable apartments comprised of the Concord, Valencia, and Vizcaya Apartment buildings. The Brightwood Tenants’ Association had exercised their TOPA rights to prevent the sale of these affordable housing apartments and chose UrbanMatters as its partner to become the redeveloper and owner of their buildings. Substantial rehabilitation is now underway on the existing 130 apartments. The plan includes an additional 10 units in the basements, as well as a new community room, computer room, and exercise room. There will be new and on-site supportive services, including after-school tutoring, financial literacy courses, and health and wellness training. The units are off 14th Street NW on a major bus line.
In the Pipeline
Providence Place | Under Construction!UrbanMatters, an affordable housing developer established in part by WIN, is celebrating progress on a 100-unit affordable housing development in Ward 7. Providence Place, which will be built on land of the Progressive National Baptist Convention Headquarters, received zoning approval from the DC Zoning Commission and finalized a Community Benefits Agreement. The project is currently in pre development with approved financing by DMPED, it is expected to break ground by November of 2018.
Old Hebrew Home/1125 Spring Road NW | Groundbreaking Upcoming!Since its closure in 2009, the lot has lain vacant. Almost a decade ago WIN leaders recognized the site’s great potential for affordable housing, and for many years WIN was unsuccessful in getting it redeveloped. However, in the spring of 2016, the District renewed its interest in developing the site. In response, WIN has organized local congregation members to weigh in on demanding that affordable housing is maximized on this site and that there is deep affordability for minimum wage families. During a 200 person action on June 7th, 2016, WIN leaders pressed Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau to help ensure there will be maximum community input in the process. Groundbreaking is expected in Spring 2020.
Temple Courts | Groundbreaking Upcoming!Temple Courts, a 211 unit public housing building, was knocked down in December of 2008 by the city, scattering over 200 families across DC, Maryland and Virginia. Today the lot is still vacant, serving as an nine dollar a day parking lot instead of much-needed affordable housing. However, that will soon change. WIN organized former tenants to testify at community meetings, held a 200-person action with Councilmember Allen in 2016, and met with countless city officials and developers asserting why affordability should be maximized on the site. In 2017, developer MRP was selected with a plan to build 518 units of affordable housing, including 211 replacement units. MRP will break ground on the first phase in Spring 2020. WIN leaders will continue to work alongside former residents to see the project through zoning, ensure that it is fully funded, to get a shovel in the ground, and to get former Temple Courts residents back into the neighborhood as soon as possible.
Eden Place Phase 2 | In Pre-Development!With Phase 1 (29 units) complete, phase 2 of this development on Eastern Ave & Dix St NE will provide 34 new construction affordable home-ownership units for working families within walking distance of the Capitol Heights Metro station.
. . . and more to come!
– WIN leader Angela Wilson-Turnbull in 2018