(Washington, DC) – Today, at the Worthington Woods apartments in Ward 8, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new affordable housing milestone in DC – more than 1,000 affordable homes preserved using funds from the Housing Preservation Fund. With the closing of seven projects, including Worthington Woods, a 394-unit apartment community, and 3218 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, a 20-unit apartment community in Ward 3, the Preservation Fund has been used to preserve 1,152 existing affordable homes.
“As we continue to build more housing, especially more affordable housing, we must also be strategic in preserving the affordable homes our families already live in – that’s what the Housing Preservation Fund allows us to do. Today, we’re highlighting the preservation of more than 1,000 homes, but what we’re really celebrating are the families and residents who are now able to stay in our city because these homes will remain affordable,” said Mayor Bowser.
In 2016, the Mayor’s Housing Preservation Strike Force recommended the creation of an Affordable Housing Preservation Fund, located within the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), to increase the preservation of affordable housing in the District. As a result, Mayor Bowser provided $10 million in seed money, which in combination with other private and philanthropic investments, has grown the fund to approximately $40 million. Local Initiatives Support Corporation-DC (LISC-DC) and Capital Impact Partners (CIP) were selected to manage the fund, which provides bridge financing for the acquisition of property.
Worthington Woods, the largest property preserved through the Housing Preservation Fund, serves families earning less than 60% of the Medium Family Income in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Ward 8. The Worthington Woods Tenant Association assigned their rights through the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) to Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP) in exchange for a commitment to preserve the property as affordable and not displace any of the residents. MHP will create a special purpose entity to include 80% ownership to MHP, 15% to the Worthington Woods Tenant Association, and 5% to the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation.
“We are pleased to be partnering with the Worthington Woods Tenants Organization and Anacostia Economic Development Corporation to deliver on this opportunity to modernize the property and preserve so many much-needed affordable apartments,” said MHP President Robert Goldman. “MHP is dedicated to empowering families and strengthening neighborhoods, including through our programs to enhance community life. We look forward to collaborating with Worthington Woods residents to develop programs to meet their needs.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Mayor Bowser and the Department of Housing and Community Development on this milestone accomplishment for the residents in DC’s Ward 8," said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners. “Through our innovative public-private DC Affordable Housing Preservation Fund we are able to provide financing to social impact projects that support the Mayor's affordable housing goals in a way that is an efficient use of taxpayer dollars."
The residents at 3218 Wisconsin Avenue, NW opted to form a limited equity cooperative in order to preserve their 20-unit apartment community in Ward 3.
“This project is a perfect example of the important role that the DC Housing Preservation Fund plays in our city,” said Ramon Jacobson, Executive Director of LISC-DC. “The Mayor’s leadership and the Council’s funding allows us to act quickly to preserve the affordable housing that still remains which would otherwise vanish.”
Properties supported through the preservation fund include:
3218 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, 20 units, $3.9 million to 3218 Wisconsin Avenue Cooperative
5000 and 5040 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, 53 units, $6.67 million to Wesley Housing
101 41st Street, NE, 14 units, $1.3 million to Urban Matters and CRG Holdings
The Villages at Tillman, 252 units across 19 buildings, $8.5 million to a joint partnership between Manna, Equity Plus and TM Associates
1915 Ridgecrest Court, SE, 297 units, $7.5 million to NHP Foundation
4419 3rd Street, SE (Worthington Woods), 394 units, $6.1 million
2719 Douglas Place (City Towns), SE, 61 units, $2.8 million to WC Smith