A job fair held at DCHA’s SW Family Enhancement Career Center on August 2 drew more than 400 applicants for construction jobs for the development of Canal Park, located in Southwest DC, adjacent to the Capper/Carrollsburg HOPE VI community.
Sponsored by Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells, the event was hosted by DCHA and James G. Davis Construction Corporation. The Davis Company is the general contractor on the Canal Park project, which is being developed by William C. Smith.
$13.5 million in financing for the park was provided through New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) issued by DC Housing Enterprises, a non-profit development arm of the Housing Authority. DCHE successfully applied for and received $50 million in NMTC from the Community Development Financial Institution Fund of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 2009.
The NMTC Program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their Federal income tax return. DCHE invests in economic development deals that maximize employment and business opportunities for public housing residents and voucher holders.
Part of the Community Benefits Agreement with W.C. Smith included providing construction and permanent jobs. The general contractor, Davis Construction, invited eight of their subcontractors to the job fair to facilitate their hiring of public housing and low income workers.
DCHA provided outreach to potential workers and will monitor placement of workers in the project based on numerical goals contained in the NMTC. Workforce development staff providing outreach and monitoring include Barbara Mitchell, Office of Resident Services, and Simone Martz, Administration.
DCHE has applied for an additional $75 million in NMTC for the next Treasury Department cycle. Awards are expected to be announced at the end of the year.