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Community forges in times of crisis. Just look at the city’s countless mutual aid networks for evidence of that. There is another crisis residents are having to grapple with, one that predates the pandemic and will likely be exacerbated by the virus: the housing crisis.

There is a housing tenure that looks to address the affordability crisis, one where collaboration among neighbors leads to stability and homeownership. It’s called a limited equity cooperative. Dozens of multifamily apartment buildings across D.C. are collectively owned by the residents who live in them. Homeownership in this form isn’t a wealth-building tool, but a way to keep property affordable for the community. 

For this week’s cover story, I profile a group of renters who formed a cooperative so they can purchase their building. The four-story, 24-unit apartment building is located in one of D.C.’s most gentrified neighborhoods, where the median household income is $97,700. The only reason these residents of modest means—who work in teaching, nonprofit, and government jobs or are single mothers and elderly individuals on Social Security Income—were able to purchase a property appraised for $5.5 million is because they did it together.   

“For The Cooperative At 1477, ownership not only means community, but power. They are no longer renters answering to a landlord, and wealthy newcomers can’t price them out. The tenants understand they are putting down roots in a neighborhood that was once home to the city’s first black bookstore and a wealth of pupuserias. All but one of the residents are black or Latinx,” I write in this week’s cover story.  

Need a respite from COVID-19 news? Read the full story online, or bookmark the longread for later. Can’t get enough of cooperative living? Might I recommend Amanda Huron’s book Carving Out the Commons, which was an immensely helpful resource for me when writing this article. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • There is no mayoral press conference today on COVID-19. 

  • D.C. reported eight additional deaths related to COVID-19. So far, tragically, 358 residents have lost their lives to the disease. As of May 14, 6,736 of the 32,999 total residents who got tested turned up positive results. [EOM

  • Parts of Maryland and Virginia will gradually reopen their economies this weekend, while D.C. and its neighboring suburbs will continue to enforce stay-at-home orders. [Post]

  • Beginning Saturday, everyone in D.C. is required to wear face coverings when they are out and about, except for children under 9 years old, individuals experiencing homelessness, or those who cannot for reasons related to health or disability. [EOM

  • These local businesses won’t reopen when the economy does. [DCist]

  • The Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy releases a report on how K-12 schools could reopen safely. [PDF


LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • The winner of the Ward 2 primary is anyone’s guess. [WCP]

  • The Street Sense voters’ guide is here. [Street Sense]

  • Brandon Todd doesn’t know what PUD stands for. [Twitter]

  • How Virginia juked its coronavirus stats. [The Atlantic]

  • Appeals court revives AG Karl Racine’s lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of illegally profiting off his D.C. hotel. [Politico, 4th Circuit]

  • The magic mushroom decriminalization effort, explained. [WAMU]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Virginia restaurant owners and employees face reopening anxieties while D.C. watches. [WCP]

  • Finally find out if a hot dog is a sandwich at an online debate hosted by two Shaw bars. [WCP]

  • Momofuku CCDC closes in CityCenterDC because of COVID-19. [PoPville

  • Must-try dishes available for pick-up and delivery. [Washingtonian]

  • Grocery store prices were their highest in 50 years in April. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Here’s how D.C. museums fared in the PPP lottery. [WCP]

  • Smithsonian museums are launching efforts to collect pandemic artifacts. [WAMU]

  • When they reopen, what precautions will hair and nail salons take? [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Mac McClung is withdrawing from the NBA draft process and will become the latest player to transfer from the Georgetown men’s basketball team. Last winter, four players departed from the team for various reasons. Patrick Ewing, set to enter his fourth season with the team, will be tasked with another rebuild. [ESPN, NBC Sports Washington]

  • The Nats have finally announced their ticket refund policy. [MASN]

  • It’s awards season for Maryland women’s basketball player Kaila Charles and men’s lacrosse player Jared Bernhardt, who were named the university’s student athletes of the year. Charles, a Prince George’s County native who was drafted by the Connecticut Sun in last month’s WNBA Draft, and Bernhardt also received the Big Ten Medal of Honor. [Testudo Times, umterps.com]

  • Undrafted tight end Thaddeus Moss chose to sign with the local NFL team because it was the first to reach out to him. The other two teams to call after the draft were the Patriots and the Bengals. [247Sports]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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