Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Following “March Madness” and “InnoMAYtion” events focused on economic development, the District is kicking off an initiative devoted to keeping rents affordable, called the “June Housing Bloom.”

The Department of Housing and Community Development is today putting out solicitations for the development of 25 District-owned properties in Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8 to get the month-long initiative started. The offerings are part of a five-pronged strategy to reduce neighborhood blight, according to DHCD: producing affordable housing, preserving affordable housing, boosting homeownership, ending homelessness, and making use of currently vacant properties. DHCD will hold an informational meeting about the sites at its HQ on June 22, with a proposal deadline of Sept. 1.

“June Housing Bloom will help tell the story of the investments we are making to increase the number of affordable housing units in our city, spur development in underserved communities, and ensure residents of all backgrounds can continue to call the District home,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.

The series will also feature the release, later this month, of an “action plan” from the Housing Preservation Strike Force that Bowser created in 2015. The 18-member group has been examining strategies for maintaining D.C.’s affordable housing covenants that are scheduled to expire by 2020. Thousands of units could lose their affordability subsidies.

DHCD notes that “the District has added more than 3,400 total affordable housing units between July 2014 and July 2015, and over 5,300 units of affordable housing currently exist in the pipeline.” They’re intended for 12,000 residents.

June Housing Bloom will include the department’s eighth annual D.C. Housing Expo on June 11 at the Convention Center. There, more than 150 groups will give presentations on a variety of housing-related topics, including home purchasing assistance. On June 17, the Deputy Mayor’s Office on Planning and Economic Development and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce will host an “economic intelligence roundtable” on housing data. Finally, on June 20, the District will hold a groundbreaking at Plaza West (307 K St. NW). The project will create affordable units for people with special needs.

In February, Bowser rolled out a dozen affordable-housing projects that are expected to benefit about 1,800 residents. These developments are being funded by multi-million dollar investments in D.C.’s Housing Production Trust Fund.