Housing Complex

Where Did All the Artists Go?

photo15Back in May, DCMud stopped by opening day of artist housing at the Loree Grand in NoMA–30 live/work units set aside exclusively for those who could qualify as arts-related people, in partnership with the Cultural Development Center. The professional requirements were not stringent, the units were widely marketed, and interest seemed high. But according to Cohen Companies principal Eric Siegel, the income requirements were too stringent: HUD guidelines set income requirements in a narrow $8,000 band around $40,000 for one-bedroom units.

"It is sought after, but I’m not sure how sought after," Siegel said. "When it came time for us to receive applications, we were a little bit disappointed with the number of applications we received....Either the person was not making enough money, or too much money. As a result, we can’t find artists who are qualified."

Only 15 of the apartments were leased to artists, and the rest are now open to anyone who meets the income requirements. Which isn't the worst outcome in the world–just something to think about when artist housing is promised as part of a new development. Are there actually enough artists who make exactly as much money as they're allowed to make to live there?

Overall, the 212-unit building is 38.7 percent leased.

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