(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd, and the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) celebrated the groundbreaking of the Todd A. Lee Senior Residences at Kennedy Street. The 38-unit affordable rental apartment building bears the name of Todd A. Lee, the former Executive Director and CEO of DCHFA, who passed away on January 1, 2020.
“During his tenure as DCHFA’s leader, Todd A. Lee worked tirelessly to ensure DC’s housing programs served our residents and that Washingtonians at all income levels had access to affordable housing,” said Mayor Bowser. “It is fitting this new affordable housing development, located in his home ward, will bear his name and help us get closer to achieving 36,000 new homes by 2025.”
On February 14, 2020, DCHFA issued $8.2 million in tax exempt bonds and underwrote $5.6 million in low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity for the acquisition and construction of the Todd A. Lee Senior Residences at Kennedy Street. The new community is being constructed for seniors age 55 or older in Ward 4’s Brightwood Park neighborhood.
“This new affordable housing development is the latest project as part of our effort to create and preserve affordable housing in Ward 4,“ said Councilmember Todd. “This investment underscores my commitment to the Kennedy Street corridor and to empowering our seniors to age in place."
“Providing affordable housing for District seniors was always a priority for Todd. Being able to allow seniors to age comfortably and affordably in their city while also honoring Todd makes this project even more special to the staff here at DCHFA and the greater D.C. community,” said Christopher E. Donald, DCHFA Interim Executive Director.
The Mayor was joined at the groundbreaking by the project development team, comprised of Dantes Partners, Gilbane Development Company, and H Street Community Development Corporation (HSCDC). The development team recently began construction on another project for seniors, Livingston Place at Southern, an assisted living community in Ward 8.
“There’s a great need for affordable housing for seniors in Washington, D.C. Todd was a colleague and friend to me and so many others. It is with great honor that we are able to pursue one of his goals and have this development to always remind us of his legacy,” said Buwa Binitie, Principal of Dantes Partners and DCHFA Board Chairman.
“Gilbane Development is so grateful for the opportunity to develop another first-class senior affordable housing community in the District,” said Robert V. Gilbane, Jr., Vice President of Gilbane Development Company. “We echo our partners’ sentiments that this one is truly special, as Todd was wonderful champion and had a huge passion for creating affordable housing across the District. While we will miss his passion and leadership, it is an honor to celebrate his legacy through the creation of Todd A. Lee Senior residences in Ward 4.”
The new senior community will consist of 38 apartments, all priced for residents earning 50% or less of the area median income (AMI). The property will consist of one efficiency and 37 one-bedroom apartments. On the ground floor there will be more than 1,000 square feet of retail space and an additional 1,700 square feet of common area space, including a lobby, cybercafé, management office, fitness center, and bike storage. All of the units will have individually controlled HVAC systems, environmentally friendly features that meet the Enterprise Green Communities Program, and there will be a laundry facility on each floor.
Additional funding for the project came in the form of a $7.4 million loan from the DC Department of Housing and Community Development’s Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). The Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development also awarded a Neighborhood Prosperity Fund grant of $150,000 to support the development of the ground floor retail space.
Through its Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investment and Capital Markets divisions, DCHFA issues tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds to lower the developers’ costs of acquiring, constructing and rehabilitating rental housing. The Agency offers private for-profit and non-profit developers low cost predevelopment, construction and permanent financing that supports the new construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in the District.