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On Friday, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced 12 affordable housing projects spread across D.C. that are expected to benefit nearly 1,800 residents once they come online. The projects stem from more than $80 million the District awarded to developers from its Housing Production Trust Fund—bolstered last year by Bowser’s approved budget—in addition to federal low-income housing tax credits and resources granted by D.C.’s human services departments.
A list of the projects shared by the Department of Housing and Community Development shows that, together, they will cost an estimated $217 million to build or preserve. The two most expensive developments are located in Ward 7, pegged at more than $40 million each in costs. Seven of the projects are preservation-based (so units are kept “affordable” through loans and covenants) while five require construction: Of those, four are new builds and one will be a “gut rehabilitation project.” The preservation projects are anticipated to cost an estimated $107 million, and the construction projects $110 million.
In other words, D.C. and the federal government are fronting more than 40 percent of these projects’ development costs.
That’s because the HPTF requests amount to around $82 million, federal tax credits to around $6.3 million, and funding from D.C.’s departments of Behavioral Health and Human Services to around $600,000. Thus, government mechanisms will provide about $90 million out of the expected $217 in development costs. There will be 466 units preserved as affordable and 338 units newly produced, or 58 and 42 percent of the 804 expected units, respectively.
According to DHCD spokesperson Gwen Cofield, the average amount of HPTF funds awarded for preservation projects was roughly $85,000; that for production projects, $126,000. (The trust fund represents the District’s main means of investing in affordable housing.) “Preserving affordable housing means that we [are] ensuring that existing affordable housing stock does not get lost or decrease,” she explains in an email. “Typically this [loss] or decrease happens when affordable housing (federal, state, local) subsidies expire; when the conditions have deteriorated such that the properties become uninhabitable, or when an owner wants to sell the property on the open market.”
The majority of the projects fall in Wards 7 and 8, while the remainder are to be developed in Wards 1, 4, 5, and 6. The following shows the locations of the projects, with preservation projects in green and production ones in blue.
The projects are deemed affordable because a certain number of their units are being reserved for residents making within a range of area median income, which last year was about $110,000. So for example, the Huntwood Courts project at 5005 to 5009 Hunt St. NE will include 103 units for people making up to 50 percent of AMI, 101 units for those making up to 60 percent of AMI, and 10 units for those making up to 80 percent of AMI (214 units).
You can view project details, including the names of the developers and the unit distribution based on AMI, below:
Due to an editing error, the headline of this piece initially and incorrectly stated that the projects would cost D.C. more than $200 million.