(Washington, DC) – Mayor Bowser today kicked off Roots to Roofs Week at a revitalization groundbreaking for 220 affordable housing units at the Parkway Overlook Apartments in the Ward 8 neighborhood of Congress Heights. The complex, which has been vacant since 2007, will have mostly family-sized units and provide workforce development training to residents and energy savings through the installation of solar panels through the Solar for All program.
“The revitalization of Parkway Overlook has been in the making for over a decade, and we are proud to finally get this project moving forward,” said Mayor Bowser. “With these investments, we are making it possible for residents to return to Parkway Overlook and for more families to secure the housing and community services they need to get their fair shot.”
The $82.2 million rehabilitation of the complex, located at 2841 Robinson Place, SE, near the Congress Heights Metro Station and St. Elizabeths East Campus, will be comprised of one-, two-, and three-bedrooms and all will be affordable to households making up to 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) or about $54,600 for a family of four. Eleven units will be available for households at or below $33,090 (30 percent of AMI) and will be set aside as permanent supportive housing.
The units will be comprised of 53 one-bedrooms, 108 two-bedrooms and 59 three-bedroom apartments to accommodate a variety of family sizes. The project also includes 13 units that will be accessible to individuals with disabilities. Job training, classes in workforce development and financial literacy, and after-school activities will be offered at the community building. The entire complex will undergo a gut renovation and receive new heating and cooling systems, appliances, electrical systems, kitchens, and bathrooms. The leasing office will move to Robinson Place, and the community building will be upgraded to include a fitness room, business center, resident lounge, and study lounge.
This effort in affordable housing preservation was made possible through the collaboration of four District government agencies: the DC Housing Authority (DCHA), the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) and the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). DHCD provided $20.1 million in financing through the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). DCHFA issued over $38 million in bond financing for the project, as well as an estimated $29.6 million in equity raised through an offering of four percent low income housing tax credits (LIHTC). Capitol Housing Partners LLC, a subsidiary entity controlled by DCHA, will use funding from DHCD and DCHFA to acquire and rehabilitate the complex. Wells Fargo is a partner in the transaction providing the construction and permanent debt as well as a LIHTC and solar tax credit equity investment.
DOEE’s Solar for All program, which aims to provide the benefits of solar power to 100,000 low-income households by 2032, provided technical assistance and grant funding for this project to support the installation of rooftop and ground-mounted solar and battery storage. The solar array will generate enough electricity to support 30 percent of the property’s energy consumption and the battery storage will enable the property to continue functioning in the event of an extended power outage. Parkway Overlook will be one of the District’s first multifamily properties to include solar and battery storage for resilience. The cost savings from solar will offset Parkway Overlook’s operating costs, resulting in increased affordability for residents. The project also aligns with the goals in Mayor Bowser’s Climate Ready DC plan.
Since coming into office, the Bowser Administration has sparked the creation or preservation of more 10,400 affordable units, with another 2,950 in preconstruction. In Fiscal Year 2017, the District made historic investments in affordable housing, getting more than $138 million in Housing Production Trust Fund financing out the door to support 23 projects that will produce or preserve more than 1,900 affordable units.
The District’s multi-pronged approach to housing production and preservation, homeownership, and development of vacant properties is winning national recognition. In September 2017, the District was selected for the Urban Land Institute’s Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award. This annual award, provided by ULI’s Terwilliger Center for Housing, recognizes innovative ways the public sector is addressing the nation’s affordable housing crisis.
Throughout Roots to Roofs Week, Mayor Bowser will highlight the programs, tools, and resources her Administration is using to make Washington, DC more affordable for residents in all eight wards.