The District of Columbia Housing Authority and District leaders celebrated surpassing the city’s investment goal for the fund that creates and preserves affordable housing.
The goal was achieved with the investment in The Beacon Center, which broke ground on October 7 and includes DCHA as one of its partners. The Ward 4 building project received more than $17 million from the city’s Housing Production Trust Fund – creating a total of $106.3 million spent to support 19 affordable housing construction projects.
“When I took office, we set out to ensure that all residents—no matter their background, income, or ZIP code—could afford to live in the District,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “With over $106 million now fully invested to produce, preserve, and protect affordable housing, we are helping to deliver on that promise.”
Like several of the 19 construction projects that received HPT funds, The Beacon Center is also receiving subsidy from DCHA for eight permanent supportive housing units to help formerly homeless individuals.
“Those eight units almost equal some $2 million in support,” said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman. “That means eight individuals will be able to live here no matter what their income is. We, as D.C. residents, are all helping to pay their rent as they improve their lives and that is a beautiful thing.”
The Beacon Center, the brainchild of the Emory United Methodist Church congregation which will be surrounded by the center, will include 99 affordable units, a church renovation, a 30,800-square-foot multipurpose and office space, and a 9,500-square-foot community space.
“This day has been a long time coming and represents a significant milestone in making The Beacon Center a reality,” said Reverend Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Emory United Methodist Church’s senior pastor. “This development will not only give residents a place to live, but also provide our church with invaluable space to serve our beloved community.
The majority of the housing units are reserved for renters earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. In D.C., the area median income for a family of four in 2016 is $108,600. The building will have a business center, fitness center, resident lounge, and courtyard. A culinary arts and training program will be part of a proposed restaurant space on the street level of the building located on Georgia Avenue in Northwest.
Several speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony spoke to the complicated nature of the financing, which includes public and private financing as well as tax subsidies.
“It literally takes a village to complete a project like this,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner. Kenner also sits on DCHA’s Board of Commissioners.