The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) recently closed on three loans totaling more than $6.9 million that will preserve 64 units of affordable housing in Wards 4 and 7. In two cases, tenant associations exercised the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) to purchase the properties and financing was provided through the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). Approximately 83 percent of units will be set-aside for households making no more than $59,000 a year.
“One priority of the Bowser Administration is ensuring that we preserve the existing affordable housing in the District, and the Housing Production Trust Fund provides the critical gap financing to make this possible,” said DHCD Director Polly Donaldson. “Thanks to the Fund, and laws like the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, we will preserve 64 units of affordable housing, representing over 140 District residents.”
DHCD provided $1,395,086 in HPTF financing to a subsidiary of Mi Casa, Inc. to preserve 12 units of affordable housing at 5400 5th Street NW in the Brightwood Park neighborhood of Ward 4. The New Beginnings Tenant Association assigned its TOPA rights to Mi Casa in early 2017. All units have two bedrooms and one bath and will be designated as follows: (1) five units at or below $35,160 (30 percent of the 2018 Median Family Income [MFI] based on a family of four); (2) four units at or below $58,600 (50 percent MFI) and three units at or below $93,760 (80 percent MFI).
The Ben-E Group Cooperative Association, Inc., received $2,517,596 in HPTF financing for the acquisition of two adjacent buildings at 4701 Benning Road SE and 4447 E Street SE in Ward 7. The cooperative, mostly consisting of long-time Ward 7 residents, invoked TOPA rights to acquire the 29 total units in the two buildings—consisting of 14 two-bedrooms, 14 one-bedrooms and one studio. The cooperative plans to preserve affordability as follows: (1) 25 units at or below $58,600 (50 percent MFI); (2) three units at or below $35,160 (30 percent MFI); and (3) one unit at or below $70,320 (60 percent MFI).
“On behalf of the Ben-E Group Cooperative we are truly thankful that DHCD believed in us, helped us to stay in our homes, and is a major factor in our progress,” said Cooperative President Shalon Wooden.
301 Delafield NW, LLC received $2,996,612 in HPTF financing to preserve a 23-unit building at 301 Delafield Place NW, also in Brightwood Park. The property is slated for comprehensive renovations as part of the Mi Casa Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) pool, and the loan will be used to fund eligible predevelopment and acquisition costs. The units’ affordability mix will be as follows: (1) seven at or below $35,160 (30 percent MFI); (2) nine at or below $58,600 (50 percent MFI); and (3) seven at or below $93,760 (80 percent MFI).
Bowser Administration’s Commitment to Affordable Housing
Since coming into office, the Bowser Administration has sparked the creation or preservation of more than 10,800 affordable units, with another 5,200 in pre-construction. For the fourth year in a row, the Mayor’s Budget includes an unprecedented $100 million for the HPTF. Two of the projects support the Mayor’s implementation of a key recommendation of the Housing Preservation Strike Force—to improve preservation under TOPA. Earlier this year, the Mayor announced new Strike Force initiatives: the appointment of a preservation officer and the selection of two managers for a $10 million public-private preservation fund.