In May, the D.C. Housing Authority applied for a federal planning grant to begin the process of redeveloping the Greenleaf public housing complex that occupies four blocks near the Waterfront Metro station. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the nine winners of the 2013 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants—-and D.C. wasn’t among them.
Greenleaf—-which totals nearly 500 units in the heart of the Southwest quadrant, divided between between Greenleaf Gardens, Greenleaf Senior, Greenleaf Extension, and Greenleaf Addition—-was built in the 1950s and 1960s. Its aging apartment buildings stand out in a rapidly transforming neighborhood; just around the corner, developers are putting the finishing touches on a former Environmental Protection Agency office building whose apartment rents will exceed $3,000 a month. Much as the Housing Authority has done for the nearby Capper/Carrollsburg public housing complex (a process that’s still ongoing 10 years later), the agency is hoping to convert Greenleaf into a denser, mixed-income community, with a one-to-one replacement of affordable units.
A Choice grant would have given the Housing Authority up to $500,000 to “support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans which focused on directing resources to address three core goals: Housing, People and Neighborhoods,” according to the HUD website. Now that the city missed the cut for a Choice grant, the Housing Authority will seek other funding sources for the planning of the redevelopment; if no others come through, the agency may reapply for a Choice grant next year, says Housing Authority spokesman Rick White. The setback is likely to delay the process, but not to derail it entirely, he says.
The winners of the 2013 Choice grants are: Baton Rouge, La., Denver, Los Angeles, Meriden, Conn., New Bern, N.C., Philadelphia, Sacramento, Wellston, Mo., and Winston-Salem, N.C.
Map from the D.C. Housing Authority