In 2003 a building at 3125 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW, was donated to Manna. The building had been closed from a fire except for two very small businesses on the ground floor that were not forced to close, and each occupied less than 800 square feet of space. Upon receiving the donation, Manna began to plan the building’s comeback. Using its in-house design department, the building was slated to become a substantial rehab and priced so that those with incomes at both the 60% AMI (area median income) and 80% AMI levels could be accommodated. While Manna had no experience with retail businesses prior to the project, it did understand the plight of small business persons and decided early-on to sell the space in which the businesses were operating at prices the existing businesses could afford, rather than set higher prices to bring in new retailers who could afford higher prices or rents.
Financing with HOME funding was provided by the DC Department of Housing and Community Development ($598,886) and Bank of America ($769,000). Enterprise Community Partners provided a grant to support the addition of more green building materials and equipment. Total project value was $2.58 million. Construction began in 2008 and Manna held its grand opening in 2010 with all of the condos sold to a multi-cultural group of new affordable owners, including one who subsequently became a member of the Manna Board of Directors.
The Department of Housing and Community Development and its partners have been able to transform the lives of District residents. Below are examples of DC residents who have used programs such as homebuyer assistance and housing counseling to improve their quality of life.