Cavalier Apartments at 3500 14th Street Get A Facelift

DSCN5581, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Those who have walked up 14th Street on the way to the Red Derby have probably noticed the huge apartment building that has had scaffolding up for quite a while. Well, the scaffolding has finally come down, and I think they did a really nice job. Added some sweet balconies. Anyone remember what it looked like before the repairs? I really think they did a great job.


31 Comment

  • I live on Otis and had to look at the building every day. It looks SO much better and really adds to the street. Does anyone know what the deal is with these apartments? Like who the target renter is?

  • I’ve been in the building for my electrical job and it’s pretty tough. Lots of old terazzo and the tenants are low income. The stucco panels on the outside shout that the brick was in bad shape and this is an easy fix. But the windows are new and it does look less foreboding. Let’s hope the rents weren’t jacked up, forcing those Hispanic moms and kids far from their jobs and schools.

  • Vonstallin

    Way Better…it use to be a eye sore…just because it was so generic…
    It’s been shouted out a million times from all the Go Go’s Artist over the decades.

    Thirty Five Double Ooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!

    My natives know what im talking about…

  • It’s Section 8 housing, I believe, and the renovation was done with Section 8 funding. Supposedly, it’s not just getting a cleaned up facade, but significant interior renovations, too. But to answer the question about who the target renter is — low income is the answer.

  • Agreed. Nice work. If only they could also improve some of that awful Bronx-style Section 8 housing around 14th and Girard. The buildings are so hideous, not sure what could be done to improve them much realistically …

  • Just goes to show that if you stay on your ass making babies, the gov’t will take care of your every need. This just makes me sick. I’m a landlord of some Section 8 tenants. It is sickening that these people get free housing in an expensive city like DC for simply having a baby. This housing should be for hard working people making less than 60K.

    I have some Section 8 tenants (all young unemployed women) that are big and strong enough to work. Three of them have pushed out four babies apiece. That shows you they are capable of working somewhere. One of my tenants just had her fourth. The result: Section 8 informs her that she is entitled to a BIGGER HOUSE! Incredulous.

  • Vonstallin

    Ut Oh…I see about 40 replies ahead…
    But before that goes down take a look at the video DC housing made of one section 8 spot.

  • It’s definitely 100% section 8. I don’t see how that’s doing anyone any good. Why not 20%? Otherwise, it will become a large tenament building, a la Cabrini Green in Chicago. Oh well, I guess we never do learn…

  • I’m not even going to touch the third-rail policy question here, but housing subsidies of any sort inevitably distort the rental market and effectively create separate subsidized and non-subsidized markets. If you’re in the non-subsidized market, the diversion of housing supply to the subsidized market has the effect of reducing supply, which results in higher prevailing rents. The people least able to afford higher rents and most likely to be pushed out by them are the lowest income-earners participating in the “non-subsidized” market — i.e., the upper-lower income and lower-middle income people. In other words, the choice for subsidize housing probably has the greatest impact on exactly those people Nate points out — those working and making enough not to qualify for housing subsidy programs but not making enough to absorb the higher rents created by reduction of housing supply.

  • Well Nate, maybe if landlords like you stop accepting Section 8, these strong baby making factories would not be able to use your building as an Outpatient Maternity Ward.

    Honestly, you are just as guilty for accepting these handouts for you own profit. Who doesn’t like guaranteed money!!!!

  • PW Queen:
    Sure. I am not guilty of accepting the money. I don’t set the policy. Here is what I see now as I have an ad in the paper. A lot of regular hard working people will call me inquiring about a 1BR I have available. The 1BR is in a bad neighborhood in SE.
    They can reasonably pay 700-800/month for the apt. But I can not rent to them.
    Section 8 will pay me ~1000-1100 for the same apartment. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out who’s getting the apartment. Efectively, section 8 causes hard working people to compete with the gov’t for housing.

  • Wow… 1000-1100/mo for a 1br in a bad SE neighborhood? I don’t fault you for taking the money, nate, but that is way above market rate and it pisses me off as a taxpayer that the gov’t is paying that. And I do support subsidized housing… but at a reasonable price. This way it is just a giveaway to landlords.

  • Her point is still valid Nate, if you feel so strongly why don’t you offer it on the market for $800? It seems the extra $300 you collect makes you feel so guilty that you then post frequently on the evils of S8.

  • Also I know I probably won’t make a lot of friends by saying this but I think if you’re receiving Section 8 or other gov’t assistance and you’ve already had 2 kids, you should be required to have your tubes tied or have a vasectomy as a condition of receiving continued assistance.

  • wow p0p’s vile comenters never disappoint. where exactly are all the jobs for section 8 tenants? last time i looked we’re in a major recession.

  • Pennywise, think for a second — if Nate doesn’t take the Gov $$$ someone else will. The policy is at fault here.

  • Nate is right. He doesn’t set the policy. The government has set his economic incentives for him by distorting the market. I don’t see any inconsistency with him taking the S8 money and commenting against the program/policy implications of it here — it’s not like he’s hiding the ball about his own financial interest in S8 continuing. The reality is he probably has more first-hand knowledge of at least his S8 tenants than most of us. Granted, it’s a very small sliver of voucher-holders that he deals with, and I’m willing to lay odds that there are any number of anecdotal rebuttals to his examples, good people who greatly benefit from S8 and don’t abuse it, but at least it’s an empirical data point we should recognize as valid.

  • Fantastic ethical arguments! Right up there with the Nuremburg defense: I was just following orders.

    Too bad we don’t live in slaving times, then we could also “own a few”! Think of the convenience of the market-based ethical arguments…

    (sorry, cynicism is extreme today)

  • It’s a very rare “Section 8” voucher holder who has no job at all. The majority of recipients are working and shut out of the District’s very high rental market. Further, there is a huge difference between “Section 8” subsidy and public housing (Cabrini Green was public housing; in DC Park Morton and Garfield Terrace are public housing). Most of the large low income rentals in the 14th Street drag of Columbia Heights are subsidized housing, and the majority of the renters get up every day and go to a job.

    Also, Vonstallin, you get a big Go-Go “WAITAMINUTE!” . . . you’re cracking me up with the reference!

  • Here is why I won’t rent to regular people. Partly it is due to the difference that the gov’t will pay. The other part is due to the quality of tenants. If I have two tenants, one with a subsidy from the federal gov’t and one with bad credit and a shaky work history, I choose the federal gov’t guaranteed rent every time. I don’t even care what her creidt is. It is better to not work at all, than work to the point where you have to pay market rate rent. Typically I don’t even check credit. I’ll take 20 applications @ $35 per app for the fee and just pocket the money.

    Tania, I have several Section 8 tenants. Few work. None have worked on a regular basis for more than a year or so. Here is what they will do though. They will work just long enough to qualify for EITC. Then they quit. I hate it when it happens because it takes about two months before DCHA adjusts the payments.

    For the tenants that do work and are on Section 8. The rules for Section 8 are so foolish that it is difficult for them to keep a job. DCHA will schedule inspections for an 8 hour window and never show up. Then schedule another 8 hour window. The tenant has to take off 2-3 days at the spur of the moment to make inspections. Then DC may fail the unit because a face plate is broken off a wall outlet. That prompts another day off that the tenant must take off so the inspector can come out and ensure the landlord replaced the face plate. It is hard to keep a low paying job like that. In effect, they essentially spend unneccessary time administrating their housing voucher.

  • Has anyone ever looked into what the DC governments “cut” is for section 8 housing? Ie, do they count on it somehow for large amounts of money, like Dept of Health seems to do with Medicare/caid? Not just on the individual payments, but the financing for the construction of these huge buildings? I smell a rat, or a huge unknown source of revenue which goes…. somewhere.

    In short, does get some sort of check for hosting so much section 8?

  • “Typically I don’t even check credit. I’ll take 20 applications @ $35 per app for the fee and just pocket the money.”

    Wow. I’m pretty sure that’s not legal.

  • DC benefits from S8 because it is a jobs program for locals. And it is one of the worst run agencies in the city. Almost everyone that works there is black. The tenants and the workers are hardly distinguishable.

    They have hundreds of inspections scheduled for homeless people. People that have lived in Sursum Corda, Park Morton, and Barry Farms that are forced to move. So you’d think they would be more sensible with their inspections.

    Instead the inspectors (i suspect they are trying to extort you) will cite you for something very small. Ex. The tenants fry a lot. They will take their smoke detector down. He will cite you for not having it up even if it is right there in his face and the tenant acknowledges taking it down. Thus, he schedules ANOTHER appointment to make sure the aforementioned smoke detector has been put back up. That is one of the biggest reasons for the backlog.

    Other times, they will schedule an inspection. They won’t even show. They won’t even give the tenant a notice. Wasted day off work.

  • Inspectors are a funny lot. There’s no criteria to be a home inspector in DC as far as I know, you just need to put up a sign that says your an inspector and that’s that. My home purchase years ago was held up as the inspector said the door seals on the refrigerator were bad.

  • It’s not a bad idea keeping that building for Section 8…what is often overlooked is discipline, among many….there are honest people however, and hard working people competing for housing, it’s a given.
    Not to choose sides with landlords/ tenants I would go with faith based charities in housing, with a newly built condo (Dumont) recently gone bust downtown.
    I was troubled with others having said they refuse to lease out on section 8 vouchers as I suggest faith based charities as a reasonable alternative to shutting out individuals.

  • “…I think if you’re receiving Section 8 or other gov’t assistance and you’ve already had 2 kids, you should be required to have your tubes tied or have a vasectomy as a condition of receiving continued assistance.”

    And if you submit comments as stupid as this one you should have your ass kicked.

  • Its probably clear to most that the vast, vast majority of S8 folks are good people working to get ahead, like most of poor and middle class DC. However, those folks aren’t the ones who get attention, don’t make the news, etc. We focus on the “bad elements” as they are so visible, annoying, get our dander up, etc. If all S8’ers were “bad” then the amount of violence would be literally zillions of times greater.

  • 1 – Most doctors will not tie a woman’s tubes unless she is over 25 or unless there is a medical reason

    2 – All section 8 apartments are not full of bad people, mostly just of lazy people in some instances

    3- I thought that after a certain amount of time the tenant (section 8) was required to get a job or am I wrong?

    4- For people making under 60K it is hard to stay in the district let alone rent an apt or buy a house. Rent should not be 1500 dollars – that is ridiculous. I pay 800 where I Live and I’m grateful, I don’t plan on paying more than that any time soon

  • i have tenants that have been on Section 8 in some of my family’s properties for at least the last 17 years.

  • I agree with almost everything Nate as posted. I also have Sec8 tenants and I just failed an inspection beacuse the number of the apt. door was not there. The inspector told me this was important because she could not find which apt. she needed to inspect. This is a four unit apt. buliding. The apt across the hall had it’s number… apt 2. She was there to inspect apt. 1. Wow!!!! now another day to come out beacuse a missing number 1.

  • What I don’t like about Nate’s commit…
    “DC benefits from S8 because it is a jobs program for locals. And it is one of the worst run agencies in the city. Almost everyone that works there is black. The tenants and the workers are hardly distinguishable.”

    Are you pointing this out because you want to create a image that black people runnning an agency is going to be a Cluster F. Could you have not made that point without adding color?

    What I would like to see is Sect 8 for low income, not NO Income. The reason these girls keep having babies is that they never leave the home. If there are no jobs for them then they need to volunteer at, schools, senior citizens homes, and hospitals. I’m not a relious person but an Ideal mind is the Devils workshop. You have to get out the house.

    I ‘m happy we have programs like this in the U.S. I’ve been to countries where there isn’t a safety net; you have families on the streets. Still I don’t believe in a free ride. We need to have them do something for the support they are given

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