Housing Complex

Where That $187 Million for Affordable Housing Is Coming From, and How It’ll Be Spent

The Benning Road development from So Others Might Eat is among the beneficiaries of the city's affordable housing funding.

The Benning Road development from So Others Might Eat is among the beneficiaries of the city's affordable housing funding.

This morning, nearly nine months after pledging to spend $100 million on affordable housing, Mayor Vince Gray outlined his plans to commit $187 million to the creation and preservation of nearly 3,200 affordable housing units. The extra $87 million, as it turns out, is not really an additional allocation of funds for low-income housing; it's actually money that's already in the pipeline for affordable housing, according to Andrew Trueblood, deputy chief of staff to Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor Hoskins.

The initial $100 million, says Trueblood, was largely budget-surplus money that was being dedicated to the Housing Production Trust Fund to increase and improve D.C.'s affordable housing stock. But the additional money comes from sources like D.C.'s deed transfer and recordation taxes and the federal government that were always earmarked for affordable housing. Gray's announcement this morning wasn't a promise of new funding, but rather a description of where that funding is going.

So where is it going? Below is a list of the projects that'll receive these affordable housing dollars between now and the end of the next fiscal year through the Department of Housing and Community Development. The biggest beneficiary projects are So Others Might Eat's Benning Road development (198 units), the vacant Parkway Overlook complex near Anacostia (183 units), and the Gregory Apartments in Washington Highlands (124 units)—all east of the Anacostia River—along with eight buildings currently undergoing Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act negotiations (1,139 units).

The DHCD project account for $181 million of the $187 million commitment; an additional $6.3 million was awarded to community-based organizations for affordable housing, according to DMPED spokeswoman Chanda Washington.

Update: The eight buildings on which DHCD is negotiating to provide financial assistance to the tenant associations looking to buy the properties are as follows:

1.      Chanel Square: 305 P St. SW

2.      Valencia Apartments:  5922 13th St. NW

3.      Vizcaya Apartments: 1388 Tuckerman St. NW

4.      Concord Apartments: 5807 14th St. NW

5.      7611 and 7701 Georgia Ave. NW Tenants Association

6.      1919 Calvert St. NW Tenants Association

7.      Portner Place Apartments: 1441-1449 U St. and 1440-1450 V St. NW

8.      Wingate: 4660 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave. SW

Rendering courtesy of SOME

  • Brian

    Are these affordable units for rent or purchase or all Section 8? Are we allowing people that make 40-80k to purchase these places? If so, aren't there sticky red tape/small print drawbacks to resale?

    How is this actually benefitting and helping people improve?

    Please define affordable housing and please explain why its ALL East of the River?

  • chris lee

    Having lived in housing projects in NYC..i will tell you..it will start out rosey and then descend to abjection..the road to hell is paved with good intentions

  • sbc

    Phyllis Wheatley and Miriam's House already exist and have for years....is this to make more units at those properties, or something different?

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  • Fola_olu

    Affordable housing = low income housing. WHAT ABOUT DC's MIDDLE CLASS?!?!

  • Retiredcop70

    This is an insult on our (black people) intelligence! Anthony Williams when he was Mayor stated he wanted 100,000 new residents in DC. We all found out that it was really 100,000 white residents, many of whom don't like black people period poor, middle-class whatever. 3,200 units is a controlled number to keep a certain group of people (this is all race) to keep in their place. They have moved into our neighborhoods with a chip on their shoulders and will never accept the blacks that are still in the neighborhood. They only see us as thugs and low-life's and always will. Why won't this mayor and council place restrictions on home pricing? This will never be a white city even with all the coffee shops, bars, and city run private parks. In all my years I have never seen anything like the District government is doing more for these new residents than they ever did for all of us. As a retired District government employee I pay the high tax in the city 8.9% and on a fix income. Fortunately I own my home and I have no intentions of letting it fall out of family hands I've instructed my kids to hold onto this property and never sale. Just because our city government are sale-out doesn't mean we need to be too. We were told many years ago that there was "NO PLAN" well this was the best "NO PLAN" I've ever seen.

  • george

    No, affordable housing is also middle-income housing.

  • http://povertyandpolicy.wordpress.com Kathryn Baer

    I also would like to know what the standard for affordability is. Specifically, how many of the units are to be affordable for households with incomes at or below 30% of AMI?

  • SEis4ME

    @RetiredCop, since we're talking about conspiracy theories, the US gov't also conspired to blow up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

    But contrary to at least one of your rather fanciful points, DC will never be a majority black city again.

  • 7r3y3r

    Damn. I was hoping they'd demolish the Portner Place Apartments and build something else that would include affordable units. Those buildings are ugly and a waste of good space/location.

  • mona

    @retiredcop... there is no way the DC gov will ever be able to cap the prices of homes in the city. This is the united states and free trade reigns so if I have a home that sells for 1mill then that is the price I get.

    There is no plan. But guess what, that is worst then there actually being a plan. IF there was a plan that would mean that someone actually sees blacks as a threat to them for their jobs, housing and money. We blacks aren't a threat cause we don't get our education like we should so we can't compete for the jobs that would afford us the ability to buy million dollar homes. So thus no threat and no plan cause we are just not even thought about which is worst.

    You talk about keeping your home in your family? I hope your kids have the means to keep up on the upkeep on the house. If not sell it now and split the proceeds and put toward their education. As so often happens with homes owned by older blacks in the city is that the house isn't taken care of, begins to fall in on itself, city has to come in and deal with it and all the issues it is causing and your family gets little or nothing for your hard work. It isn't always a wise thing to keep a house in a family if no one can take care of it properly.

    Stop worrying about affordable housing and ask what the city is doing to better educate the children and the adults to create a better way of life.

  • New Resident


    I am sad to see you have such a poor attitude to new residents. I moved into the city in 2010, and really have enjoyed meeting my neighbors. They have each been in their homes for 30+ years, and don't hold it against me that I am white. Perhaps if you took the chip off of YOUR shoulder, you would see that the new residents are likely just reacting to your misplaced hostility towards them, as opposed to the other way around.

    With that said, I am glad you are retired. You are the exact opposite of the type of police officer the MPD needs.

  • Virginia C. Lee

    I am not sure who reads this blog, but whoever in government developed this list is using the same listings that were included on the affordable housing listing for 2011 and 2012. Are we to believe that this administration has any intention of making housing affordable for a middle-class in the District? They report the same information as if we can't read and make determinations about the validity of the data. This is an election year and this disingenuous treatment of the housing crisis in the District is unacceptable. The Deputy Mayor for Economic Development inferred in a recent article in the National Journal that DC will ONLY be for those new residents who can afford to pay to stay here. Who is to benefit from all this? Sounds like another scsndal to me.

  • Retiredcop70

    @New Resident
    During my tenure as a cop I saved several lives white and black. I can only tell you what I have observed in my neighborhood after all those years since retirement I have been a victim of some vicious white neighbors who have displayed hatred towards the blacks in my neighborhood by placing false calls on several black families about nothing.

    This is not about me but about the affordability of homes in this city. A certain class of people are being priced out and we know who they are. What is the average salary of a GS7 or GS10 not $200-$300 thousand a year. Well if you pull your head from under the rock its under you might see. You will never understand since you've only been here in 2010. I've lived and worked in this city my entire life from the 1968 riots, to the May Day demonstrations, Muslin takeover to the years of mass murder on the streets of DC.
    For your information most black people welcome whites with open arms for they know that things will change sometimes for the better. There are good white and black people as neighbors then its the others who no matter who or what you are, are just trouble. The city is now catering to these new residents by changing laws to accommodate them because they have money. As for the new MPD they are nothing more than baby-sitters for the new residents giving them a false sense of security. Until you've walked a mile in my shoes as a cop or a black man you don't know jack!

    You're right there is "No Plan" for the plan is complete! "MISSION ACOMPLISH"

    In case you don't know most black people who own homes are not slum lords many of us take pride in what we have.
    My kids are grown with families, it's a fact that the education system will get better and you know why, but my grandkids are in private school so I have no reason to worry.

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  • mona

    @retiredcop --- your right most aren't slum lords but so often homes that were brought back in the 60's, when blacks finally had a chance to purchase property and gain equity and family wealth, become blighted homes when those very people who worked so hard don't have the resources or family support to keep these homes. I can name at least 6 homes in my neighborhood that were "lost" because of basic ignorance about home ownership and care over long term. Homes that families should have been reaping the profits from but were sold to developers for little of nothing and then later renovated and sold for 3X the price they brought it from the families. I hope you don't have anything to worry about but look around your neighborhood and see what I am talking about. Make sure your home doesn't end up in the same place

  • Billie

    Residency restriction: DC govT. should put a residency restriction on all this CITY funding: MUST HAVE LIVED IN DC AND PAID DC TAXES FOR AT LEAST ONE GENERATION!!!