More than 200 families will soon have a place to call home thanks to a partnership between the District of Columbia Housing Authority, the D.C. government, and faith-based organizations.
D.C. community leaders broke ground at Plaza West recently, marking the start of a nearly $84 million project that will house 50 families in which grandparents are raising their grandchildren. These grand-families, and 11 formerly homeless families, will be among other low- to moderate-income households in the 223-unit building.
“I believe that every single Washingtonian deserves a fair shot and access to quality affordable housing – regardless of zip code or age,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser at the groundbreaking on June 20. “Seniors built this great city, and they deserve affordable, quality housing so that they can always call the District ‘home.’ Plaza West shows us what is possible when we work together to make affordable a reality for D.C. families and our most vulnerable residents.”
Plaza West, located at 4th and K Streets in Northwest, is the sixth[JPG1] affordable housing development created through the vision of The Bible Way Church’s founders, said Yvonne L. Williams, chair of Bible Way Church’s Board of Trustees.
“When I was first approached by the Bible Way’s leadership about the grand-family concept I said, “Sold! You have me,” said Adrianne Todman, executive director of DCHA. “I am proud that DCHA is part of a third project with the church’s development arm, Golden Rule Plaza Inc., and can help make rents more affordable for seniors and the low-income in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood.”
Plaza West will make grand-family units available to those making 30 percent to 40 percent of the Area Median Income. Another 173 units will be for individuals earning 50 percent to 60 percent of AMI and the remainder will serve Department of Behavioral Health Clients. The new 12-story development will provide on-site social services for the grand-families and offer than 9,500 square feet of outdoor recreational space.
Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen said that he hoped Plaza West will be an example of intergenerational housing that will be replicated throughout the city.
“The [founders’] vision is really a legacy,” Allen said.
Golden Rule Plaza, Inc. GRP is a D.C.-based non-profit whose mission is to provide more affordable housing and other community-oriented assets in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood in downtown D.C. GRP has partnered with Mission First and the Henson Development Company to develop Plaza West.