By AFRO Staff

Earlier this week, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray, and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) broke ground on two 100 percent affordable housing communities. Providence Place and the Strand Residences will deliver 179 affordable units in the Deanwood neighborhood of Ward 7, including 63 replacement units through the New Communities Initiative (NCI). 

“Today, we are delivering on a promise the city made a long time ago to the residents of Lincoln Heights and the Richardson Dwellings. And we are proving that with commitment, funding, and community support, the New Communities Initiative can work,” said Mayor Bowser. “Through projects like Providence Place and the Strand Residences, we are getting Washingtonians into safe and dignified housing in the neighborhoods they know and love.”

Mayor Bowser makes good on a promise made to residents of Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings. (Courtesy photo)

Providence Place is a 93-unit community with a mix of family-size apartments, located at 601 50th St., NE, on the campus of the historic Progressive National Baptist Convention Headquarters. The Strand Residences, located at 5119 Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave., NE, will include 86 one and two-bedroom affordable apartments along with a first floor retail space for a neighborhood nonprofit or a community-based retailer.

Both properties include units prioritized for residents from Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings. About 35 units at Providence Place, and 28 units at the Strand Residences reserved for households at less than 30 percent median family income (MFI), or approximately $35,150 for a family of four. The remaining units at both properties, 116 units total, will be made available to other households earning up to 60 percent MFI, or approximately $70,320 for a family of four.

“I am thrilled that we are adding additional affordable housing to the Ward,” said Councilmember Gray. “It is imperative that we continue to move with urgency to also include other amenities like grocery stores, sit-down restaurants and retail opportunities. Working with the mayor, I am pleased that we were able to bring Lidl to Skyland which is consistent with legislation I introduced, and the Council enacted, to attract and incentivize developers to bring more opportunities to Ward 7. Providence Place and the Strand redevelopment will not only create more affordable housing, but it will bring to fruition what I have been consistently pursuing and that is more neighborhood shopping to the nearly 75,000 residents of Ward 7.”

Providence Place and Strand Residences were made possible through a collaboration of District government agencies including DMPED, the DC Housing Finance Agency, and the DC Housing Authority. Development partners for Providence Place include Urban Matters and Atlantic|Pacific Communities with the Progressive National Baptist Convention. Developers for the Strand Residences are NHP Foundation, The Warrenton Group, and the Washington Metropolitan CDC.

“After years of delays on these projects, Mayor Bowser charged us with making sure that we delivered for the residents of Ward 7, ” said Interim Deputy Mayor Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “Thanks to the commitment and hard work of District agencies, the community, and our development partners, we are realizing the future for this historic Deanwood community.”

The New Communities Initiative is a District effort to revitalize severely distressed subsidized housing and ensure that residents are able to stay in their neighborhoods while enjoying a high quality of life. In September 2018, Mayor Bowser cut the ribbon at 5201 Hayes Street, NE, the first NCI delivery during the Bowser Administration, providing 150 affordable units and 50 replacement units for families from the Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings, also in the Deanwood neighborhood.