Northeast to Get New Housing

Mayor Fenty Announces Initiative to Redevelop Affordable Housing Units in Ivy City

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced Tuesday an initiative that will redevelop 37 long-vacant properties into nearly 60 market-rate and affordable housing units in one of the city’s poorest areas.

The Ivy City Home Again Initiative will be funded by the District’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget, Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr., promised. The city has committed $60.8 million to preserving and expanding affordable housing in the city, despite the drop in the regional housing market.

“For far too long these vacant properties have been an endless source of problems for this community serving as places to deal drugs and dump trash,” Fenty said in a statement. “But that is going to change.”

Ivy City has one of the lowest home ownership rates in the District. Just 12 percent of the neighborhood’s residents own their own homes, but this initiative is expected to double that rate.

“We are making a highly concentrated investment here to transform this six-block area into a safer and healthier community where twice as many residents will own their own homes and have a real stake in the success of this community,” Fenty said.

The plan combines the value of the land – about $1 million – with nearly $3 million in funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help offset the cost of the $15 million project.

The $2,836,384 million in federal funding was awarded to D.C. in September when U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston allocated $3.92 billion to all states and particularly hard-hit areas trying to respond to the effects of high foreclosures.

The city has chosen four community-based housing developers to undertake construction of the housing units. Mi Casa, Inc., Manna, Inc., DC Habitat for Humanity and MissionFirst will build a total of 58 units of housing, including single family, condominium and limited-equity cooperatives.

Twenty-nine of the units are to be affordable to households at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income, 23 are planned to be affordable to households between 50 and 80 percent of the Area Median Income. The remaining six units will be market rate in the neighborhood that sits on a triangular strip of land in northeast D.C. between Gallaudet University, Mt. Olivet Cemetery and Amtrak’s Ivy City yard.

The first projects will rehabilitate three buildings located at 1302 Gallaudet St., NE; 1304 Gallaudet St., NE and 1917 Capitol Ave., NE.

Councilmember Thomas was pleased that the city chose the Ivy City neighborhood as a place to concentrate the money.

“Ivy City has long suffered from disinvestment, drug activity, and a host of environmental crimes like illegal dumping,” Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. said in a statement. “Transforming Ivy City into a safer and healthier place to live has been-and continues to be-one of my main objectives as Ward 5 Councilmember.”