(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), along with development partners Redbrick LMD, The Knutson Companies, and Gragg-Cardona Partners, celebrated a ribbon cutting for the District Towns at St. Elizabeths East. District Towns is bringing 88 for-sale townhome units to the St. Elizabeths Campus in Ward 8.
“The transformation of St. Elizabeths East is truly bringing the community’s vision for this campus to life,” said Mayor Bowser. “What the community asked for here – jobs, entertainment, housing, health care – it’s all happening. And now, with these homeownership opportunities, families will be calling the St. Elizabeths East campus home for generations to come.”
Located on Sycamore Drive adjacent to Alabama Avenue and by 12th Street, 8th Street and Malcolm X Avenue SE, within walking distance of the Congress Heights Metro Station, District Towns at St Elizabeths offers the first opportunity for homeownership at the St. Elizabeths East Campus. This project is delivering 88 for-sale town home units, of which 27 of the residential units will be affordable dwellings. Fourteen of the affordable units will be available to households with an annual household income at or below fifty percent (50%) MFI and thirteen of the affordable units will be available for households with an annual household income of at or below eighty percent (80%) MFI. There will also be a 1-car garage available for each residential unit.
“Homeownership is a key element of stability, resilience, and wealth building,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “Residents in all eight wards deserve the opportunity to own their own homes, and we are excited to deliver these new townhomes on the St. Elizabeths East Resilience Campus.”
Mayor Bowser reaffirmed her commitment to increasing homeownership within communities of color with the introduction of the $10 million Black Homeownership Fund in her FY23 Budget. The goal of the fund is to address the racial disparities in homeownership and household wealth in the District. This June, Strike Force members will be appointed by Mayor Bowser and include stakeholders in the housing, finance, legal, and real estate industries along with community representatives who can lend their perspective and experience to the challenges and opportunities for homeownership in the District.
“As we welcome the first homeowners to their new homes with this ribbon cutting ceremony, we are tremendously proud to help shape St. Elizabeths' bright new future,” said Don Knutson, President of the Knutson Companies. “We at Knutson recognize the importance of the St. Elizabeths neighborhood to the greater D.C. community and are honored to be part of such a meaningful effort to bring more homeownership opportunities to the District.”
District Towns is being constructed by The Knutson Companies with developers Redbrick LMD and Gragg-Cardona Partners. Parcel 6 Parking Garage is being constructed by GCS-Sigal and Grunley Construction’s joint venture and is designed by Cunningham Quill Architects and Lee & Associates.
“District Towns at St. Elizabeths East highlights Redbrick’s commitment to building with intention while also advancing the Mayor’s housing goals,” said William Passmore, Managing Partner at Redbrick LMD. “Now more than ever, we are proud to help more Washingtonians realize their dream of owning a home with the opportunity to participate in the exciting growth in Ward 8.”
Numerous resources are available in the District of Columbia to support homeownership, particularly for low-moderate income residents. Frontdoor.dc.gov, a DC government site launched in 2021, provides a searchable inventory of these programs. In addition, Mayor Bower’s FY 23 Budget makes further investments in many of these programs including:
- Funding the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) and the Employer-Assisted Homeownership Program (EAHP) at $21 million and $6 million respectively, an increase of $3.1 million across the two programs from FY 2022 levels;
- Increasing the maximum assistance from HPAP for the lowest income prospective homeowners from $80,000 to $202,000;
- Providing Heirs Property Legal Services to assist 1,000 multi-generational families in maintaining their family property after the original homeowner passes;
- Reducing the annual increase cap to property taxes for seniors from 5 percent to 2 percent;
- Increasing funding for the Single Family Residential Rehab program, which helps low-income homeowners repair their homes;
- Investing more than $12 million in home weatherization, lead and mold remediation, and FloodSmart homes programs to help residents make their homes safer, healthier, greener and more affordable.