I Got Some Info on the “Residences at Georgia Avenue”

DSCN5569, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Tony from the Neighborhood Development Company sent the following info:

“The Residences at Georgia Avenue (4100 Georgia Avenue, NW) is a seven-story building which consists of 6 stories of affordable apartments, ground floor retail, and 54 at grade and below grade parking spaces. The 7-story building contains 72 apartment units with large windows and open floor plans and uses a state of the art ‘spacesaver’ parking elevator from Germany that allows residents to consolidate two parking spaces one over another.

The residential development is comprised of 36 two-bedroom units and 36 one-bedroom apartments averaging approximately 830 and 650 square feet respectively. Recreational green space is provided on the roof. The apartment portion of the development and the retailer will have their own separate entrances off Georgia Avenue. The property’s ground floor has been purchased by Yes! Organic Market who is currently designing a 10,000 square foot grocery store at this location. The project is now leasing apartments.

Due to the property falling in the affordable housing bracket there are income minimums and maximums. For the one bedroom the rent is $1009.00 per month with a minimum income of $34,600 and a maximum income of $41,340. For the two bedrooms the rent is $1202.00 per month with a minimum income of $41,200 and a maximum income of $47,220 for 2 persons, $53,160 for three persons, and $59,040 for four persons.”

I’ve always been curious about what the affordable housing rates were. Does it seem it reasonable?

36 Comment

  • how do you afford a thousand bucks a month making $40k? just curious.

  • Very strange – those income ranges seem so narrow to me, the pool of potential buyers would be tiny. Plus, what if the occupant gets a raise, or finds a better job? Should they be kicked out? I’m generally not a fan of entire buildings being set aside as affordable, but prefer mixed-income facilities. Then again, at these prices, they don’t seem particularly affordable to me.

  • Bottom line is that the rents on affordable housing (I assume this is tax credit) are restricted based on HUD restrictions (first) and what the market will bear (second). In DC, the market is strong and most properties can charge the maximum allowed.

    The HUD-designated area median income for DC is $99,000 for a four-person household. 60% of that is $59,040 (maximum income for a 4-person household in these apartments), and then it decreases from there based on household size.

    One of the biggest struggles for affordable properties is finding tenants who can afford the rent but also fall below the income restriction. You’re right – the band is very narrow. Generally tenants only have to income qualify when they first move in and then they are eligible to stay even if their incomes increase (the idea is that if incomes increase significantly, most tenants will move).

  • The handful of folks I’ve known who have taken advantage of these affordable housing deals where you have to fall into a bracket like this have cooked their own books to make their incomes ‘fit’. Just show a W2 or something that looks right and you’re in. It’s not like they have a financial investigative team looking up people’s incomes.

  • Those income guidelines are horrible, like someone else said if you make less than 40k a year, then $1000 a month is a LOT for rent. The only way it’s a good deal is if you are expecting a promotion soon.

  • I don’t think paying $1000 in rent is affordable on 40K, heck it’s not even affordable on 50K. That seems too narrow for my taste.

  • I must be a real dope, because I make 40k/year and pay $1025/month for rent on a one-bdr apartment in a building in Rosslyn that has affordable housing. And as a couple of you have indicated, this amount is unaffordable for me, but I don’t really have a choice because it’s the best deal I’ve been able to find. It’s as though the government thinks that 40k/year is a lot of money, when in fact it isn’t, particularly when living in this area.

  • Is that 47K max for two people’s income combined or separate? How does a 1 person max of 41K for one and only 6K more for two make any sense, or am I just totally misreading this? Otherwise 600ish + Utilities per person for a 2 BR sounds ok to me.

  • 1k per month rent at 40k per year is pretty easy. My wife and I managed to do it for two years. It’s amazing how having a “budget” can stretch your money.

  • I make $42K, take home about 2200/mo. $1025K is nearly 50% of that. Most, if not all, financial planners will tell you that’s far too high a ratio of your salary to pay in rent (recommended is between 33-40%, but good luck finding that in D.C., amirite?). I’m paying $900 with a roommate, living a strict budget, and barely get by.

  • @Anonymous 9:59: really? I make $35K and pay a little over a thousand a month in rent, plus utilities, and I find that I have plenty of money. Not the wisest ratio, but I didn’t have a lot of other options. But I am paying that plus student loans and I still have money to eat out/go out, and I am saving some money. Granted, I am not supporting a child or anything like that, but it’s really much more doable than most people think.

  • $1000/mo is almost 30% of a $42k salary-earner’s paycheck, pre-tax. Sure a person could arrange their budget to afford it.

    Its really unfortunate that these “affordable” ranges aren’t updated. I found when I moved here that I couldn’t pay only 25% of my income for housing if I wanted to–all of the places in that range have this same income restrictions. I earn a healthy salary too. I’m still paying 40% of my income. Its like this town forces you to pay more than 25%.

  • My roommate would qualify for a one bedroom and she pays $950/month+utilities as it is to share our apartment — seems perfectly doable to me as long as you don’t have alot of additional expenses (car payments, student loans, etc). Flipfloppirate, I believe you are reading it correctly — I had always assumed those restrictions on two incomes were aimed at married couples (possibly with kids) in which only one spouse works.

  • I pay about 1000 a month for my share of a 2 bedroom on Cap. hill on a 35k salary. I’m still able to save at minimum 300 a month. I don’t drink which plays into being able to save more. But I have a strict budget only eat one lunch and one dinner out a week and cook the rest of my meals. Yeah I’m paying about half my take home on rent, but if i dont want to live with my parents or with 10 roommates that’s my what I have to do.

  • Anon @ 9:59

    Something doesn’t sounds right about that. I make 42K and take home $2650 a month. I would look into that. Although I work at a non-profit, maybe that changes things. But it still seems like a very large difference.

  • And I think $1000 a month plus utilities is way too much for the $35-42 range. Paying that ratio in affordable housing is like the govt encouraging people to spend beyond their budget.

    I pay $800 including utilities for a room in a basement apartment. It’s not the fanciest place, but it has everything I need. And I fully acknowledge I am incredibly cheap about housing and prefer to spend my money on other things.

  • Anon959 here again:
    I imagine the disparity between Abby is likely health insurance, which takes a substantial portion of my pre-tax. Premiums sky-rockted last year.

    Student loans also take a huge (>300) chunk out of the old take-home budget. Ugh. That’s due, I should go pay that.

  • That said, in this market, $1025 is pretty incredible for a one-bedroom. Sadly, I’m incomed out.

  • 9:59 “recommended is between 33-40%”,

    That’s the standard rule, but it doesn’t really apply for urban residents who don’t have to worry about transportation costs. Especially in DC if you’re a government employee and get free metro benefits.

    Think about your parents in the burbs. They probably had the standard 25-30% income mortgage, but paid half that much if not the same amount again for the cost of car payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance. If you take Metro, your 40% apartment rental costs 25% less than your parents car dependent house in the burbs.

    Also, looking at this I think, “huh, my girlfriend could move in with me and we could afford this easily. I just couldn’t ‘report’ it.”

  • Also remember these are a few blocks up from the metro and on several buslines. Those characteristics are called “amenities” and they cost extra. Think of the cost savings offered here if you skip the whole “German spacesaver” garage and not have a car? It’s entirely plausible here, which is priced in.

  • Yeah, totally. Urban living is, at least transportation-wise, a little cheaper than the ‘burbs. But, then again, I spend about $170/mo on the metro toting myself around everywhere (that’ll significantly drop when it gets nicer out and I can freakin’ walk everywhere again without cold wind blowing my face off). But, the flipslide is that urban living is otherwise more expensive: groceries are way more expensive, my taxes are higher than my suburban counterparts, etc. But it’s a trade-off, and one that I have no problem making.

    Any idea on what pricing might look like in the Park View building?

    (I was thinking the same thing about not ‘reporting’ my SO.)

  • @ 11:05 and Springroad: I think the only way that would work is if the SO wasn’t on the lease, right? Maybe they’d be okay with that, but I definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable moving in with someone without being on the lease.

  • Income restrictions aside, the rates seems very reasonabe for a new, nice building that close to the metro and in a hip neighborhood. Before we bought a condo, my wife and I were in one-bedroom for $1500/month near U st.

  • Just another case of the gov’t interfering with negative outcomes. First, affordable is most needed for families in DC. Families don’t necessarily fit in 1 & 2BR apartments on Georgia Avenue. There are plenty of 1 & 2BR apt’s cheaper. Plus rooms in houses for people that can not afford to live in an apt all their own.

    Second, I get a lot of calls from unsubsidized, hardworking families looking for places to rent. I have to turn them down because they can not afford to pay the rent that the gov’t will pay for Section 8 tenants. Poor people (the ones that work) should be most against Section 8. Not the middle and upper class. For they are put in a position to compete for housing against a gov’t with pockets deep enough to distort the market. That is the shame of it all. Due to the gov’t subsidy, I can rent a 4BR house in SE for ~2300. Grossly overpriced. Does anyone see the problem here?

  • This isn’t section 8

  • I pay the same at my Safeway as my friends in VA do at theirs. I also don’t have to pay property tax on my car because I don’t need one. I don’t think suburban taxes in this region are lower for people making under 75k or so

  • Many years ago I made 36K and paid 1200 a month for rent.

    I was single and brown bagged it at work and felt significantly richer than I do now with a much higher income, a mortgage and kids.

  • Affordable guidelines set by HUD (the same agency that sets Section 8 income guildelines) seems very close to subsidized housing if you ask me. I just do not believe in it.
    Again, the guidelines are so rigid that it will be exploited by people. People will live there without putting theire bf/gf on the lease. People will continue to live there even after their salaries have increased. Gov’t just should not be involved in issues as personal and unique as housing.

  • It might not seem affordable but people living there will also had a govt subsidy

  • Shame it has all the architectural charm of a Holiday Inn Express by a freeway in Ohio. What an ugly f-ing building.

  • Better than a closed storefront or boarded up house

  • just wondering- why do taxpayers subsidize places like this so that low-income people can live in a brand new building right by the metro? what’s wrong with letting lower income people live in places that they can afford? there are plenty of places for a grand a month- probably don’t have the amenities or the proximity to train, but there are places to live.

  • Good question Anonomatopoeia. Why do I subsidize it? I have no choice. I also subsidize global warfare and a fleet of 13 aircraft carriers. Compared to those payments, I love stuff like low income housing. The general argument I believe is that perhaps these folks have lived in the area for many years, and thus new dwellings should accommodate them, and not just wealthier folks. Also, the flip side, to drive all low income folks to specific areas, creates a nightmare scenario in those areas and hurts more than it helps in that future generations are even less likely to escape poverty. They cynic in my does often ask why we strive to keep some of the potentially most valuable real estate on the planet (ie DC) occupied by folks who could meet their personal career goals under a freeway overpass with cheap whiskey and hookers.

    The “answer” of course lies somewhere in between, and in my opinion DC skews too far towards a welfare state. Take a walk down GA avenue and you’ll get a vivid illustration.

  • Pennywise,
    you stated that driving poor people to live around each other causes a nightmare scneario. I think you need to refine your statement. Poor people are not the problem. It is just that poor people tend to be the problem. Why is it that the urban poor can not live around other people?

  • ok i get the location thing now. but we are paying for brand new buildings? i know for a fact there are several apartment buildings within 3 blocks of that place where you can get an apartment for that amount of rent.

  • Is there going to be parking at the Yes Organic market?

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