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Mayor Bowser Breaks Ground on Affordable Housing Development

Monday, June 20, 2016
Plaza West, DC’s first ‘grandfamilies’ project, will deliver over 220 affordable housing units for seniors, families in Ward 6

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and District officials broke ground on Plaza West, a Ward 6 development that will bring 223 units of affordable housing for seniors and families in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood. This unique $84 million development project will provide 50 housing units for “grandfamilies” (grandparents raising grandchildren), the first project of its kind in the District.  
“I believe that every single Washingtonian deserves a fair shot and access to quality affordable housing – regardless of zip code or age,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Seniors built this great city, and they deserve affordable, quality housing so that they can always call the District ‘home.’ Plaza West shows us what is possible when we work together to make affordable a reality for DC families and our most vulnerable residents.”
Plaza West is part of the first annual “June Housing Bloom,” Mayor Bowser’s month-long initiative that showcases how the public and private sectors are partnering to produce and preserve affordable housing, and revitalize neighborhoods across the District.
The “grandfamily” units will be made available to those making 30-40 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), while 173 units will serve individuals and families making 50-60 percent of AMI. 11 will be set aside for Department of Behavioral Health clients. The project is scheduled to be completed by spring of 2017.
The new 12-story Plaza West development will provide on-site social services for “grandfamilies” and over 9,500 square feet of outdoor recreational space. Bible Way Church is the sponsor of this project through its affiliate, Golden Rule Plaza, Inc. (GRP). GRP is a DC-based non-profit whose mission is to provide more affordable housing and other community-oriented assets in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood in downtown DC. GRP has partnered with Mission First and the Henson Development Company to develop Plaza West.

Since taking office, Mayor Bowser has made affordable housing a major focus of her Administration. The District has added more than 3,400 total affordable housing units between July 2014 and July 2015. Over 5,300 units of affordable housing are currently in the development pipeline, which will house nearly 12,000 District residents.
Last week, the Mayor’s Housing Preservation Strike Force unveiled six recommendations on how the District can preserve its existing affordable housing covenants set to expire by 2020.
Earlier this year, the Mayor announced nearly $90 million in affordable housing opportunities that will provide more than 800 affordable housing units for an estimated 1,760 DC residents. These units are being funded by the Housing Production Trust Fund, part of the historic $100 million commitment the Mayor has made in her budget each year.

Not only is this commitment historic for the District, it is unprecedented among U.S. cities. The nation’s capital leads most states in housing trust fund investment. Out of four states that reported collecting more than $50 million in FY2015 —Florida, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — only Florida exceeded the District’s $100 million investment.
For more information on Plaza West, visit: dmped.dc.gov.