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DHCD and Partners Earn Award for Affordable Housing Project

Thursday, June 4, 2009
DHCD earned the “Best Project in DC” award for its role in the acquisition and rehabilitation of Mayfair Mansions Apartments at the HAND annual meeting.

(Washington, DC) - The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) earned the “Best Project in DC” award for its role in the acquisition and rehabilitation of Mayfair Mansions Apartments at the District of Columbia at the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) annual meeting and awards luncheon Monday.

Accepting the award was DHCD Director Leila Finucane Edmonds, Shelynda Burney of Community Development Preservation Corporation (CPDC) and Patricia Simmons of Mayfair Mansions Tenant Association. Special recognition was also given to the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization (MHCDO) and the DC Housing Finance Agency for their work on the affordable housing project.

Located at 3819 Jay Street NE in Ward 7, Mayfair Mansions is a tenant acquisition and rehabilitation project.  DHCD provided $24 million in Community Development Block Grant funding toward the $40 million acquisition price of the property.  In order to assure longer term 40 year affordability of the rental units, DHCD refinanced its acquisition funding with $24.4 million of Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) funding.  The remainder of the project funding is being provided by 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), historic tax credits, and Housing Finance Agency tax-exempt housing bonds. The total development cost of the project including acquisition and renovation was $63 million. CPDC and MHCDO partnered on the development of this project.

The 17 building complex consists of 569 garden apartments, 409 of which have been maintained as affordable rentals for households making 60 percent or less of AMI. Approximately 54 percent of Mayfair Mansions’ residents earn less than 30 percent of AMI.

Mayfair Mansions, completed in 1946, is one of the city's earliest garden apartment complexes. Howard University Professor of Architecture Albert I. Cassell purchased the former Benning Race Track in 1942 in order to build the Colonial style project he conceived and designed. The project opened with more than 500 units of affordable housing for black District residents. When completed, Mayfair Mansions was “a first-class complex offering a welcome housing opportunity for working- and middle-class blacks who were excluded from housing elsewhere because of racially restrictive housing covenants.” It was listed on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites and the National Register for Historic Sites in 1989.