(WASHINGTON, D.C.) –Department of Housing and Community Development Director Polly Donaldson announced today that the District received two responses to the Solicitation for Offers (SFO) for the development of six vacant and blighted properties in Historic Anacostia (Ward 8).
“Since taking the reins at DHCD nearly two years ago, one of our top priorities has been aggressively moving vacant and blighted properties out of our pipeline to provide more affordable housing options,” said Donaldson. “In moving properties out of our inventory, we have had success in using a competitive solicitation process that is fair, transparent and open. This best ensures that all interested developers have the chance to bid on properties that will ultimately result in new, vibrant affordable homes for District residents. The announcement of the two respondents takes us a step closer to that goal.”
Through the SFO, DHCD sought public offers that will promote affordable housing to families making no more than 80 percent of the area median income (AMI), as well as the revitalization of local neighborhoods and the elimination of blight on the following sites:
- Four Buildings
- 1220 Maple View Place SE
- 1648 U Street SE
- 1518 W Street SE
- 1326 Valley Place SE
- Two Lots
- 1528 W Street SE
- 15th Street SE at Square 5766, Lot 0800
The SFO respondents are:
- Mi Casa: A nonprofit affordable housing developer that has completed more than 500 affordable housing units since it was founded in 1992. Completed projects include:
- The Genesis Project in Brightwood in Ward 4: New construction rental housing developed as an intergenerational intentional community for low income individuals and families.
- Ivy City Special Demonstration Project in Ward 5: This two-phase project included renovation of eight condos and construction of seven new single-family homes.
- Crestwood Cooperative in Ward 1: Helped Latino and senior tenants purchase and rehabilitate their building under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA).
- The Development Corporation of Columbia Heights (DCCH): A private, nonprofit community development corporation that has delivered more than 131 units of affordable housing for low and moderate-income families since its first project in 1991. Completed projects in Columbia Heights include:
- DC Pool Project: The District’s first non-contiguous FHA-insured tax credit/tax exempt project developed by a non-profit organization provided 32 affordable housing units for low and moderate-income households.
- Fairmont Square Apartments: The building was purchased at a public auction to prevent displacement of low-income and elderly neighborhood residents.
- Commercial projects: The 18,000 square foot Nehemiah Retail Center, the 29,000 square foot headquarters for the Latin American Youth Center; the transformation of the dilapidated Tivoli Theater into the mixed-use Tivoli Square; and the 500,000 square foot DC USA retail complex, which houses retailers such as Target and Best Buy, as well as local businesses.
DHCD is completing the deliberative process of proposal evaluation, and will announce awardee(s) by April 2017.
Since January 2015, the Bowser Administration has produced and preserved over 3,100 units of affordable housing units in the District with more to come. More than 3,700 affordable housing units—capable of housing more than 9,250 District residents—are in the development pipeline. In addition, since January 2015, the District has re-invigorated its focus on addressing vacant and blighted properties. Of the 160+ properties currently in the DHCD pipeline, more than 50 percent are already in some form of disposition.
The Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF) is one tool that the District government uses to provide gap financing for affordable housing projects. In October, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the unprecedented investment of over $100 million from HPTF. The $106.3 million supports 19 projects that will produce or preserve more than 1,200 affordable housing units in all eight wards. Since taking office, Mayor Bowser has made affordable housing a major focus of her administration.
Mayor Bowser has committed $100 million annually to the fund each year of her administration, and will include that figure in her upcoming FY2018 budget proposal. This commitment is more than any city per capita in the country. A report issued by Center for Community Change shows that the District’s $100 million fund more than tripled the next highest fund amount for a U.S. city. Compared to states, DC’s trust fund is the country’s second largest.