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Ahead of DC Housing Expo and Home Show, Mayor Bowser Highlights Affordable Housing Projects

Friday, June 23, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Today, one day before DC’s 9th Annual Housing Expo and Home Show, Mayor Bowser broke ground on a newly renovated 19-unit affordable housing apartment building at 4000 Kansas Avenue, NW in Ward 4 and celebrated the renovation of the historic Phyllis Wheatley YWCA in Ward 6. The Housing Expo, which falls during National Homeownership Month, will feature more than 150 housing-related exhibits about home purchase assistance programs, financial literacy, new affordable housing developments, energy efficient products, small business strategies, incentive retrofit programs, decoration and remodeling ideas, helping seniors age in place, and home improvement resources. Attendees can choose from more than 20 workshops such as homeownership 101, do-it-yourself home repair, avoiding foreclosure, green living, and how to cook economically. Homeownership and financial literacy sessions will be available in both Spanish and English.

“My Administration is taking a broad approach to expanding economic opportunity in Washington, DC,” said Mayor Bowser. “By producing and preserving more affordable housing, increasing the minimum wage, connecting more residents to education and employment opportunities, and giving more families the resources they need to succeed, we are ensuring that residents in all eight wards are able to benefit from our city’s prosperity.”

At today’s groundbreaking and ribbon cutting, the Mayor also highlighted enhancements in the District’s Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), through which borrowers can now get up to $84,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Additionally, the Mayor’s FY18 Budget includes $1 million to expand the Employer Assisted Housing Program, which provides assistance to employees of the DC Government who are purchasing a home in the District for the first time, for teachers and first responders.

Phyllis Wheatley YWCA renovated and reconfigured its property at 901 Rhode Island Avenue, NW into 84 units of permanent supportive housing. All 84 units will receive Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP) subsidies, half of the units are designated for Department of Behavioral Health clients, and all units will house formerly homeless women who have incomes at or below 30 percent AMI. The renovated property also includes community spaces and space for onsite supportive and clinical services.

Through DC Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)-financed capital investments for solar power and other energy upgrades, Phyllis Wheatley YWCA’s energy usage will be cut by 24 percent and its water usage by 47 percent. It will reduce annual CO2 Emissions by 114 metric tons, saving the YWCA a net of $87,500 over the lifetime of the energy measures ($5,800 annually), enabling them to conserve essential funds for supportive services while helping the District reach our climate and energy goals. The DC PACE financing for this rehabilitation sets a national precedent. This project marks the first time the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has given approval for PACE financing to provide capital for a HUD-assisted mixed finance public housing property. The financing agreement ensures the YWCA will be operated and maintained as affordable housing for at least 40 years.

4000 Kansas Avenue, NW is a 19-unit affordable housing development that was acquired and rehabilitated using $3,736,586 from the Housing Production Trust Fund. The property will offer two units for households with incomes at or below 30 percent AMI, one unit at 50 percent AMI, one unit at 60 percent AMI, and 15 units at 80 percent AMI. The units will remain affordable for at least 50 years.

“Today marks yet another milestone in our unprecedented efforts to produce and preserve affordable housing in the District,” said Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Director Polly Donaldson. “No time in our District’s history have we invested more and housed more residents in a two-year period – and we’re not slowing down anytime soon. The Bowser Administration will continue to make the strategic investments necessary to ensure every resident in DC has a safe and affordable place to call home.”

In addition, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner and DHCD Director Donaldson will participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony for Bowen Flats, a new construction project in Ward 8. The property will produce 41 new affordable housing units for families earning at or below 60 percent AMI. The project was funded with $4.4 million of federal HOME funds along with tax exempt bonds and 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The project is located less than a mile from the Anacostia Metro station and near the Barry Farm neighborhood. Barry Farm is being redeveloped as part of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development’s New Communities Initiative, which was designed to revitalize severely distressed subsidized housing and redevelop neighborhoods into vibrant mixed-income communities.

Since taking office in 2015, Mayor Bowser has invested $100 million annually in the Housing Production Trust Fund, created the Housing Preservation Fund, and produced or preserved over 3,600 units of affordable housing, with almost 5,000 units in the process of being constructed.