Thursday, September 02, 2010

Feds Enable Affordable Housing Surge in the District


Significant press coverage has been granted to The Yards' Foundry Lofts over the last several days, and in the past as well, a project that will move forward thanks to the DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) multi-deal bond release under President Obama's New Issue Bond Program (NIBP). This is all big news, as there are a few firsts here: the first HFA in the country to issue an escrow release under the new program, and the Agency's first mixed-income transaction, as 34 of the Foundry Lofts' 170 new rental units (20 percent) will be marketed to families making only 50% of the Area Medium Income (AMI). But the same funding mechanism also enabled yet more public housing; So Others Might Eat's (SOME) "The Scattered Site Project" will also move forward with the assistance of the released funds.

The Scattered Site Project has been in the works since early 2007 according to SOME's Housing Development Director Troy Swanda, and has been on the starting line and ready to go for sometime now. But with the market downtown, the start gun was without powder, and the project has idled. Now, the recently released bonds combined with tax credits, grants, and SOME's private fund raising will make this multiple-site development a reality. Totaling more than $36 million, the specific funding numbers go as follows: $8.1 million from DCHFA's Tax Exempt Bonds, $11.5 million DHCD Housing Production Trust Fund, $6.7 million from Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Proceeds, $2.9 million from DC Housing Authority LRSP Capital Grant, and $7.3 million from SOME's own financing. SOME and their team of contractors were so poised for action in fact, that they began construction the very day the bond release was finalized. The aptly named development consists of five different properties strewn across Wards 7 and 8 in the Southeast. Three of the properties (350 50th St, 3828 South Capitol St, and 2810 Texas Avenue) will be intended for single adults, while one property (730 Chesapeake St) will be geared for families, and the last (1667 Good Hope Road) for seniors.

The five buildings will offer a total of 245 apartments, all classified as affordable housing, meant to shelter residents making 0-30% AMI. Keeping carbon footprints to a minimum, the properties will feature very limited parking amenities, as residents of affordable housing projects are typically some of public transportation's most devoted users. Two buildings will feature green vegetation roofs and one will be topped with a passive solar water heating system. "Building to green standards is in mind with construction and design of every building," says Swanda. Local firm Nelson Architects is responsible for the design of each building. Developers expect to deliver their first building in early 2011, and will complete the roll out of all five by the end of that year.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

booooooo,

Anonymous said...

And how is this public housing?

Anonymous said...

Uh, I don't mean no harm and yes I am a homeowner in Ward 7. But we have more than enough affordable housing projects in Ward 7 and 8 combined. What we need is more market rate development and what the extremely developed areas of the district need are more affordable housing projects or dwellings. It's funny how the board or whoever is in charge of administering development projects throughout the city wants to always slap affordable housing in Ward 7 and 8 with no problem, but concerning newly developed areas such as; The Rhode Island Avenue development/Brookland development and H street Corridor- everyone wants to put up market rate housing and developments. I am tired of this administration shitting on Ward 7 and 8. Simply put. There was a debate about the situation of affordable housing vs. market rate development on a most recent post concerning the Rhode Island Avenue project and there were a mass amount of opposition to it. Why is it that when Wards 7 and 8 is considered the only thing that the administration wants to do is slap affordable housing in it. I am not against affordable housing. However there needs to be a balance Ward-wise and housing wide for the area to have some type of growth. With that being said, I am also a homeowner and I must look at this from the standpoint of someone investing in a property with the hopes of seeing some type of return or equity rebound in it. By putting a mass amount of affordable housing that does not give those people residing in it the opportunity of becoming homeowners or shareholders in their dwelling, it affects everyone how are actual homeowners in that immediate and surrounding areas, concerning the equity and/ or property values of their homes. If affordable housing is going to be done, it should be equally administered across the district, not just concentrated in a general area. I would rather it be mixed housing as well, this way there would be affordable housing available as well as market rate housing that will contribute to building up this part of the district.

Anonymous said...

dc needs affordable housing west of rock creek park.

Anonymous said...

I live in a section of Ward 1 that is being victimized with nothing but affordable housing in an area where there were never any housing projects, etc. Its true, when th city masses it in one area if will not really improve the area. I love the west of Rock Creek Park idea, that is where it is really needed. Mixing it up will only help the economic viability of our city.

Control Board said...

I agree with the other comments. I thought Ward 8 would rebound with the DHS Headquarters. Beautiful old homes with yards and a suburban feel. And they want to cluster all affordable housing here. DHCD needs to hire people with some sense.

Anonymous said...

I am just getting the perception that they-whoever is in charge of this idea, is trying to sabotage Wards 7 and 8 to prevent it from flourishing, which in turn could further alienate this section of the city from the parts of the city that is either very well and abundantly developed or on its way to that point of development. Its as if they are trying to sabotage Wards 7 and 8 into behind a section of the city that no one would want to bring any development or revitalization to the area that is very much needed. I don't even think that they are taking current homeowners of Wards 7 and 8 into consideration. But I wonder if they are considering this for the Upper NW. area or Columbia Heights or the H Street Corridor or even the RI.Avenue Corridor. Its as if they are doing their best to segregate Wards 7 and 8 from the rest of the city when it comes to revitalization. This is my concern.

Ken on Sep 4, 2010, 7:53:00 AM said...

I don't disagree that Wards 7 & 8 seem like a dumping ground for affordable housing, but that may simply be a matter of the total amount of affordable housing being created. Columbia Heights has received substantial amounts of affordable housing, which is also spread throughout northwest DC, not always visibly. All property bought from DC includes it, and the new MIZ rules require it with most new large projects. There will be much more of it.

Anonymous said...

u know where there is affording housing? freaking Frederick maryland - so all these people should move their and commute to dc like everyone else and pay for it themselves instead of having tax payers flip their bills.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. The last time that I drove through Columbia Heights-which was this morning,the only thing I saw was condos and development. Where was this so-called affordable housing that you were speaking of again?

Anonymous said...

to the last poster, u must be blind if you dont see the projects in CH. have u every driven now 14th st? affording housing = projects.

Anonymous said...

OMGosh. I am sooo very happy to see someone else say what I feel about Ward 7 beign a dumping ground. You know who I blame? Our council member Alexander. Is she aware of what this means? Ugh. Speak up. I never, NEVER hear her speak up about anything much less being a dumping ground. How are we ever going to flourish with all this "affordable/ subsidized/projects" mess they are building? We have more way more than our fair share and have had it for far too long. I want market rate housing all over. How about some townhomes? How about you invest instead of pushing stuff off on us. You know why it's done? Becaus the other council members say no way are you putting it in my ward and Alexander won't. For some reason she feels she has to be the safe haven for the subsidized housing. Thanks. Great job. While the rest of the city is making a comeback, we're getting pooped on.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention she screwed up the best opportunity at the intersection of Minn. and Benning to really make an impact and guess what we got.....another 'affordable housing' property. Which the city will subsidize and in other words....another project. Why don't you just call it Kenilworth2?

Anonymous said...

At the last anon-I've driven from 14th & U. But even on the upper end of 14th-Between Harvard Street and Euclid, near the Target and all the may be some affordable housing units but it's more condos up there also. I know what I am talking about, I've lived there before it was even considered "livable". With that being said, it is more "livable" on that end then it is where I currently live. So don't tell me about affordable housing being in NW. That area only has a percentage compared to where I live. It's not even a drop in the bucket as far as I am concerned.

Anonymous said...

To the previous Ward 7 poster, I was not aware that Ms. Alexander has been so soft spoken to the point that we are not getting the development and revitalization that we so seriously need and deserve. If that is the case then I know how I am going to vote. However, I would have to do more research first before doing so, because at first I wasn't due to the fact its been like damned if you do and damned if you don't concerning Ward 7 and DC in general. (For some reason I no longer believe that our vote counts for anything). With that being said, I am also disappointed if this is true because that would be saying that she is stunting the growth of our Ward, our community. How are we as Ward 7/8 going to flourish if they are only putting affordable housing and not market rate or even better-mixed used/mixed income housing in these Wards? The Department of Employment Services building is almost completed (Ward 7) and would the development that they have planned next door be mixed income or would it be strictly affordable housing? If that latter is the case, it would be almost a contradiction. Also, what would be the planned development around the Department of Homeland Security (Ward 8)? I doubt that it there would be too much affordable housing there because they are within close proximity to Barry Farms, which, sorry to say will become a razed project for new development-look at what happened to the old Arthur Capper development near the Department of Transportation and the Navy Yard on Capitol Hill. I'm just saying, there has to be a balance. You cannot expect for people who are moving into this city from all parts of the country and even some other parts of the world to want to move into the section of the city in which it is riddled with affordable housing development-because it sometimes carry a stigma. I've overheard a co-worker who has been displaced from his home due to a fire make a statement to another coworker that his temporary housing location is in Falls Church, Virginia. When asked why he would not have considered to move closer into the city or considered "government housing", his statement was that I did not want to deal with living in public housing. And sorry to say, but affordable housing sometimes carry a stigma with it. I know, I've grown up in affordable housing and thank God I am a homeowner. However, with that also being said, I must look at the property values of my home versus the property values of the homes in the developed areas of DC-both new and pre-existing. I am not liking what I am seeing and as long as they are solely looking at affordable housing as the only alternative of so-called development in Ward 7, I may as well walk away. These are just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

To the previous Ward 7 poster, I was not aware that Ms. Alexander has been so soft spoken to the point that we are not getting the development and revitalization that we so seriously need and deserve. If that is the case then I know how I am going to vote. However, I would have to do more research first before doing so, because at first I wasn't due to the fact its been like damned if you do and damned if you don't concerning Ward 7 and DC in general. (For some reason I no longer believe that our vote counts for anything). With that being said, I am also disappointed if this is true because that would be saying that she is stunting the growth of our Ward, our community. How are we as Ward 7/8 going to flourish if they are only putting affordable housing and not market rate or even better-mixed used/mixed income housing in these Wards? The Department of Employment Services building is almost completed (Ward 7) and would the development that they have planned next door be mixed income or would it be strictly affordable housing? If that latter is the case, it would be almost a contradiction. Also, what would be the planned development around the Department of Homeland Security (Ward 8)? I doubt that it there would be too much affordable housing there because they are within close proximity to Barry Farms, which, sorry to say will become a razed project for new development-look at what happened to the old Arthur Capper development near the Department of Transportation and the Navy Yard on Capitol Hill. I'm just saying, there has to be a balance. You cannot expect for people who are moving into this city from all parts of the country and even some other parts of the world to want to move into the section of the city in which it is riddled with affordable housing development-because it sometimes carry a stigma. I've overheard a co-worker who has been displaced from his home due to a fire make a statement to another coworker that his temporary housing location is in Falls Church, Virginia. When asked why he would not have considered to move closer into the city or considered "government housing", his statement was that I did not want to deal with living in public housing. And sorry to say, but affordable housing sometimes carry a stigma with it. I know, I've grown up in affordable housing and thank God I am a homeowner. However, with that also being said, I must look at the property values of my home versus the property values of the homes in the developed areas of DC-both new and pre-existing. I am not liking what I am seeing and as long as they are solely looking at affordable housing as the only alternative of so-called development in Ward 7, I may as well walk away. These are just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Look, I understand why folks from Wards 7 and 8 feel dumped on, but the reality is, those areas are more affordable for the developers, esp. nonprofit developers like SOME, to snatch up the property and redevelop. It is just not feasible anymore in most neighborhoods west of the park.

Anonymous said...

To the last anon posted. That is just pure, plain Bull. Point blank. These so called developers want to always dump affordable housing in the Lap or Wards 7 and 8. And yet, many of the posters on the other blogs on this site are bitchin and complaining about a few affordable housing units being put up in NW. I hope NW gets littered with affordable housing.

Anonymous said...

The concentration of low-income housing in Wards 7&8 is a function of construction economics. At current sales prices, the market-rate housig in Ward 8 is affordable housing. The fact is developers can't build new housing for $175/ft, which is what it sells for for east of the river. There are no subsidies to build market-rate housing so the only thing that gets built in low price-point communities is affordable housing. Also, the land is less valuable to so subsidy goes further.

Anonymous said...

I live in Shaw, and I feel the same way you all do about A/H. In my section of Shaw, we have a TON of not just affordable housing--but projects with really low-income housing. There's a bunch up and down 6th and 7th streets and a bunch near the Howard/Shaw metro station. I don't think DC needs ANYMORE affordable housing. From what I can see, we have more than ANY surrounding jurisdiction. It sounds awful, but if people need an affordable place to live, they should move to where there IS affordable housing stock. Right now, there is a TON of affordable housing stock in outlying suburbs like Prince William County.

Anonymous said...

So, do people prefer to leave all these vacant and abandoned properties, vacant and abandoned rather than have renovated/occupied affordable units? You need to look at the economics of the deal to understand that the "affordable housing" market in these areas is actually the "market." As another poster mentioned, developers can't touch these buildings without the subsidies that go along with affordable units. If you want revitalization, this affordable housing is a great catalyst.

 

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