DCHFA Provides $63M in Financing for Affordable Apartments Rehab in Ward 8

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Residents of a tenant-owned apartment building in Washington, D.C., have secured financing for a planned $134 million overhaul of their Washington Highlands  property.

The District’s Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) issued $63.2 million in tax-exempt bonds for the renovation of  Worthington Woods Apartments, an affordable apartment building with 394 units in Ward 8.

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The residents of the property, through the Worthington Woods Tenants Association, exercised their rights under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act to acquire the building earlier this year, and chose Montgomery Housing Partnership and the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation to oversee the property’s $133.6 million redevelopment. 

Additionally, the DC Department of Housing and Community Development is providing a $38.8 million loan for the project from the Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program.

The financing is one step in resetting a historic imbalance. In 1953, when the District’s public housing agency, the National Capital Housing Authority, began desegregating its properties, the Washington Highlands was the first area where they implemented this policy. 

“This was an intentional act,” Christopher E. Donald, DCHFA’s executive director and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “We are being intentional by making a purposeful investment at Worthington Woods Apartments that will restore a community of nearly 400 apartment homes to a place that is beautiful and healthy while remaining affordable to its current and future residents.” 

Built in 1944, Worthington Woods was last renovated more than 20 years ago. The rehabilitated property will offer six efficiency units, 162 one-bedroom, 220 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom apartments. They will be varyingly restricted at the 30, 50, and 60 percent area median income (AMI), which is currently $142,300 for a household of four. Forty of the 30 percent AMI units will be designated permanent supportive housing units and will operate with local rent supplement program subsidies from DCHA.

Amenities will include a playground, a community room, central laundry facilities and 156 parking spaces.

The nonprofit HousingToHome will provide relocation services during the renovation process, and none of the current residents will be permanently displaced by the construction. 

Keith Loria can be reached at Kloria@commercialobserver.com.