Woah, Central Union Mission No Longer Coming to Georgia Ave and Park Morton Developer Selected

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Details from Park View ANC Rep Cliff Valenti:

“Good news! The Park Morton redevelopment contract was awarded to Landex. Even better news is that they are purchasing the property on Georgia Avenue currently owned by Central Union Mission. This frees the mission up to pursue the Gale School on Mass Avenue for an emergency shelter, and they will no longer be land owners at 3506-3512 Georgia Avenue. We really owe Councilman Graham and Mayor Fenty a round of applause on this. Back in June after Landex, Neighborhood Dev. Corp, and Penrose presented their plans to ANC1A I thought they had the second best deal (I preferred NDC only because it was 50/50 owner/renter), but I think with some of the modifications they have made to the plan sense then Landex really is the best option for the neighborhood. The following are my notes about Landex from the ANC1A meeting back in June:

Landex building design looks great, and they are proposing a 9,000 square foot park at the center of the development. I loved their economic model of 30% low income, 35% work force, and 35% market rate income levels for housing, I do not like that they are developing 100% of the units as rental.

If I understand this correctly, all of the above still applies but 30% of the units built will be owner occupied. Additionally, the 499 units to be built does not include the property they are acquiring from Central Union Mission.”

A rendering can be seen at DC mud. Thanks to all who sent me emails about this. Totally wild. Remember the discussions we had about the Central Union Mission here and here? Nevermind. How do the Landex plans sound?

Press release from Mayor Fenty after the jump.

“Fenty Announces Selection of Development Team for Park Morton

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mayor Adrian M. Fenty on Wednesday announced the District has selected a development team led by Landex Corp. to transform the Park Morton housing complex into a $130 million New Community with more than 500 units of new housing for residents at all income levels.

“We are building a stronger, healthier, safer Georgia Avenue,” said Mayor Fenty. “And this team has the vision and the capacity to do just that at Park Morton.”

Currently, Park Morton consists of 174-units of low income housing managed by the District of Columbia Housing Authority. Last year, as a first step in implementing the Park Morton Redevelopment Initiative plan, the District issued a competitive solicitation seeking development partners to rebuild Park Morton into a mixed-income new community where each public housing unit will be replaced – one for one – with a new unit in the project. The new development will also include a mix of new market-rate and workforce housing units.

Park Morton is bounded by Georgia Avenue to the west, Warder Street to the east, Park Road to the north and Lamont Street to the south. It is one of four designated New Communities across the District. The others include Barry Farm/Park Chester/Wade Road in Ward 8; Northwest One in Ward 6 and Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings in Ward 7.

In addition to the physical development project, the New Communities model also calls for supportive social services – a human capital program – focused on health care, adult education, employment, youth development, and public safety programs.

The District selected the Landex team based on several criteria including its vision for the site, its financial capacity, past experience and community feedback. Landex specializes in rebuilding distressed urban housing and has successfully completed projects in cities along the East Coast including federal HOPE VI redevelopment projects.

In the coming weeks, the District, lead by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, will begin exclusive negotiations with the Landex team. A ground breaking for the first replacement units will occur next year.”

69 Comment

  • Sounds great – certainly seems like an improvement over the current Park Morton.

    Speaking of which… does anyone know how these new “mixed income” models fare when they replace public housing? DC has several of these conversions in the works. Do they have a good track record at reducing crime and dysfunction? Do middle-income families really move in?

  • It’s progress, an improvement and broad step forward for Park Morton.

    Time will tell, but if the same residents remain it may sadly fall short of of reducing crime and dysfunction as you ask, Bloomingdale.

    Technically, this is in Park View neighborhood, adjacent and immediately south of Petworth.

  • I’m thinking they should use some of that vacant space at DCUSA for a homeless shelter. It certainly makes sense for all parties involved, at least in the short term.

  • I am thrilled that they are moving forward with a mixed-income/mixed-use project like this. The pocket of depressed property values and crime in that little wedge of land between Columbia Heights, Petworth, and Shaw was seemingly insurmountable.

    I would really like to see the crappy strip mall at New Hampshire and Decatur redveloped into either a better retail drag or a small mixed-use project, too.

    (…and I wish people would stop knocking DC USA. It is not perfect, but its what we have and serves a role in the city).

  • Park Morton will be a temporary achievement. The below market tenants will drive the market tenants out… eventually. This will not occur because of income inequality, but because why would you pay market rent to live with someone who is less educated/more ignorant than you. They can be nice people and still ignorant, I’ll call it the barking dog syndrome. I have a neighbor that lets there dog out at 6:30am and brings it back in the house at 10:00pm, the dog constantly barks, disturbing every house on either side of the alley. The kids in the house sometimes yell down to the dog to be quiet, but never bring the dog in the house. I don’t expect the kid to bring the dog in, but I expect the parent to be responsible enough to do so, but they are not and this is ignorance. This is not a issue of race or culture, it’s right and wrong. Common courtesy seems to be lost in many areas of the city, sometimes it surprises you, and sometimes it does not.

    Thanks to PoP, I know this is illegal and I plan on approaching them about it, rather than just call the cops, I want to let them know it’s illegal ($300 fine). Hopefully, they address the issue and I don’t have to involve the police.

  • that would be “their dog” for all the wordsmithers

  • Apparently their poor-people ignorance has rubbed off on you in the form of the inability to distinguish between “there” and “their”.

  • I don’t know if the poster above was serious or not, but using DCUSA as a temporary homeless shelter until the spaces can be leased really is a great idea. Everyone always says that letting properties sit empty is a bad idea, so let’s put it to use for now.

    Prediction? Being low income makes someone ignorant? That’s the most ignorant thing I’ve heard all year.

    I like the commitment to low income housing and working class income housing in this development. We need lots more of that, not less.

  • Great development — so glad that this also takes care of the Central Union Mission issue. Here’s to hoping this turns into a great new neighborhood!

  • Voice of Reason you are correct. When someone like yourself suggests a homeless shelter in a neighborhood already lousy with the effects of crime, poverty and drug abuse it is proof that ignorance is not income based. Put the homeless shelter in Georgetown. Columbia Heights has given up enough for the cause.

  • Anon 955: thanks, 4 minutes too late.

    There are people with high incomes that are ignorant, Mike Vick/Bernie Madoff/ Charlie Rangel. I said less educated/more ignorant. How is that hard to grasp? How many people with college degrees are living in low income housing? How often do you hear of someone leaving the ghetto to go to college and return to slang rock on the weekends. Are there nice people in low-income housing? Yes. Can you be nice and ignorant at the same time? Yes.

    This will be another failed social experiment… just like the projects they are replacing. You are in denial.

  • Anon at 10:11, you don’t really know my income level. I could possibly qualify for the subsidized housing.

    I have no problem with a homeless shelter in Georgetown, but I also have no problem with one in my own neighborhood. There is no direct correlation between overall crime and non-emergency homeless shelters.

  • Prediction.

    1. there are thousands of people with college degrees living in low income housing across the country. many in homeless shelters. I’ll get the actual numbers for you later after I talk to my colleague who works with the population.

    2. Plenty of people go to college and deal drugs. But it’s irrelevant, most people in low income housing and homeless shelters are NOT drug dealers.

    3. Assuming that all people or most people in low income housing or shelters are ignorant (nice or not) is just, well, ignorant. But I assume now you are trolling.

  • I believe the term is “sling” not “slang”.

  • I gotta agree with Prediction. Why would I buy market rate in a building that’s 30% market rate and 70% affordable housing when I could buy into a building that’s 100% market for the same price? If I’m going to take on that much extra risk I should also get some level of discount or it’s foolish…

  • Prediction: It’s interesting that you consider a modicum of low-income housing to be a “social experiment”. For the most part, Internet trolls justify their bad behavior as “a social experiment” as well!

    So are you arguing that your social experiment will be more successful than that of Centex?

  • Jason: I don’t know why you would or wouldn’t buy into mixed-income housing, but people have done exactly that all over the country with remarkably little complaint. I don’t know why this is controversial in the least.

  • Prediction,
    With all due respect, you appear to be too ignorant to realize that the example you described is not really an example of ignorance. Ignorance means lack of knowledge. Not knowing that your dog is barking all day is ignorance. Knowing damn well that your dog is barking all day but not giving a damn about it is being inconsiderate. I submit that the parents in your example know damn well that their dog is barking all day; they just don’t give a damn about it. I see numerous of examples of lack of consideration in my neighborhood: the trash that floats down the sidewalk, the occasional dog droppings on the curb, the car that pulls up to a home at 6:30 am and honks incessantly to get the attention of someone inside, . . . These are not examples of people who don’t know what they are doing; these are examples of people who don’t give a damn about the effect their actions have on others. But I also saw as many examples of lack of consideration when I lived in Adams Morgan in a higher income neighborhood.

  • J.D. there is a difference between people like yourself parroting P.C. doggerel and people being honest. Very few progressives who champion homeless shelters and “mixed income” housing manage to live near or in such developments. It’s much easier to feel satisfied for suggesting others should be subjected to the consequences which, despite Anonymous @ 10:20’s bald assertions, do include increased drug abuse, crime and other attendant problems such as serious mental health issues. This isn’t about you congratulating yourself for being open-minded, this is about actual neighborhoods with actual residents who are negatively impacted by such well meaning social experiments. Increasing the density of poor people and, in the case of the homeless shelter, people who often have very serious untreated mental illness and drug addictions in a part of town that is just now picking itself up off the floor is madness. These problem populations need to be better distributed west of the park. Why does Columbia Heights have to bear the burden for the entire city?

  • Wait, I am totally flabbergasted at the bantering going on.

    This is a GOOD development. It is a step in the RIGHT direction.

    Think about it. What is in the area right now? Park Morton is a crime-ridden, drug dealing murder epicenter of NW DC. Central Union’s space is vacant and was slated to become 100% low income housing.

    Now we have 130 million committed to making mixed income housing! This is fantastic. Stop wining.

  • JD – public housing is a social experiment… tell me about the success of Barry Farms? It’s been around 50yrs. They are now adjusting the experiment because it failed. Maybe you think Barry Farms is a success, your measurements are different from mine.


  • You are all idiots, everyone of you. This is a terrific day for Parkview and we should all rejoice.

  • My imposter is back. I did not post the above comment at 11:12 am. Not sure what to do about this problem.

  • @voiceofreason, since it’s impossible to tell the difference based on the content, you could just let the impostor post for you.

  • This whole “send public housing and homeless shelters west of the creek” sentiment displays incredible ignorance of how property values and property tax revenue works.

    Imagine one of the giant houses PoP featured a couple weeks ago. Say it’s worth $5 mil. That’s a lot of property tax revenue going to the city from that one property. Now say the city built a homeless shelter across the streeet from this house. $5 mil house is now worth millions less. Multiply this story a few times over and you realize why public housing ends up where it does.

  • anon at 11:24 am, i’ve never called anyone an idiot on here, and I never would.

  • NAB: There is nothing barring such things happening west of the park other than the residents west of the park wouldn’t subject themselves to a lower quality of life out of guilt like Voice of Reason. I say if VOR is so remorseful for growing up in suburban Virginia where he never missed a meal he should take a vow of poverty and, for the sake of the rest of us, a vow of silence too.

  • Huh? I didn’t grow up in suburban Virginia.

  • Jason,

    In answer to your question, buying a market-rate unit in a mixed-income development would be cheaper, all else being equal, than buying a market-rate unit in a development without a mixed income component, precisely for the reasons that you cite. That’s what makes it an attractive option.

  • might be attractive to singles or childless couples. but who is going to raise their kids there? if dc is ever going to attract a middle class back into this city it needs to stop engineering ways to avert the normal market forces to artificially make some neighborhoods POORER.

  • M.A. – its hard to say if they know or not. If a kid litters, did his parent(s) teach them it is wrong or do they learn to litter from their parent(s). After serving on DC grand jury, I don’t assume anyone knows anything. Ignorance is a matter of relativity, why would someone do something if it is wrong and they know? That’s why we have consequences. My neighbors probably don’t know they can be fined for the barking dog. My other neighbors that tolerate it, probably don’t know either. Once they know, hopefully they become less ignorant… or else they will be issued fine after fine after fine after fine. I suggested it lacks common courtesy, you say its inconsiderate, we can split hairs all day. I also said higher income people can be ignorant, but higher income people aren’t living in low income housing. I made a prediction, you can agree or disagree. Public housing Barry Farms style failed. Phase II is to be determined. Will the city continue to fund the project to attract the various groups of residents? If it can’t keep that mix of residents, will the low-income group grow or will it sit empty. If the mix changes will the funding that the building receives decrease, leading further decline. The rest of the world is older than we are and naturally has a lot of older buildings, in America we knock stuff down and re-do it.

    The barking dog is my social experiment.

  • Anon,

    I don’t see how this development is making the area poorer. It’s bring higher incomes into an area that is currently economically depressed.

  • What the people who are complaining about the income mix of this property seem to be forgetting is that there is already plenty of market rate housing available and much of it is empty. The building above the GA-Petworth metro was supposed to be condos. It became market rate rentals due to the economic downturn and the glut of empty condos it produced. Even as market rate rentals the building is still mostly empty. I haven’t seen a lot of lights on in the building above the Yes Organic store either. Isn’t that market rate rentals? Developers build what they can sell. The Park Morton site is not a viable location for 500 market rate units. The neighborhood is changing but it ain’t changing that fast.
    I don’t see how it can be so difficult to grasp the simple concept that this development will be decreasing the concentration of poverty, not increasing the concentration of poverty. Only 30% of the units will be lower income. 35% will be market rate and 35% will be “work force” – meaning working professionals like teachers, police officers, firefighters, and social workers who can’t afford to pay $2000/mo for a one bedroom apartment will have a place to live.
    If it’s that important for you to live with higher income people, you should move to a different neighborhood.

  • DCDude: At market rate it’d do the same thing only better. The “mixed income” portion has nothing at all to do with “development” it has to do with progressive ideology. There is no end to poor neighborhoods in DC, and yet progressives need to stamp all over the beginnings of one of the few middle class areas of town and insist on artificially lowering the rates? Why? Social experiment. That’s fine. But the consequences, as discussed, will mean that DC’s renaissance will die right here. You cannot attract and maintain middle class families with such pointless social engineering. DC can’t survive and thrive long term without the economic presence of middle class families. We can’t create more middle class families from the poverty in DC through scraps, handouts, and failed “mixed housing” experiments. The economy of DC cannot be structured along the lines of the very few, very rich and the very poor forever. This sort of thinking is very short-sighted.

  • Marcus: Then don’t build it now. Just as there is no lack of market rate at $2000, there is no lack of market rate at $700 in NE. Why does Park Morton need artificial means to keep the rents low? What is the ultimate goal? To keep Park Morton forever a low income area of blight?

  • @Ross: Logan Circle/14th St. turned into a great neighborhood with the Central Union Mission right smack dab in the middle of it all through the boom times.

    Jus’ sayin’.

  • Anon, Underlying your remarks is the assumption that the economic reemergence of previously depressed areas in DC is solely due to the Invisible Hand of free market forces. I you truly believe this, then you must not know this area very well. It is the end result of hard-fought governmental action, beginning with the building of the Green Line, and including TIFs, tax incentives, etc., etc. So my quetsion to you is, if the government has an interest in attracting higher earners like you, does it not also have an interest in making sure that lower income earners also have a place at the table? If you ask me, simply pushing poverty further east seems like the more short-sighted approach.

  • I agree with Ross. “This is a GOOD development. It is a step in the RIGHT direction.”

    But I totally disagree that we “stop wining.” I am a huge fan of wining, and dining for that matter.

  • DCDude, some will be pushed and some will be lifted. The approach of artificially depressing the market won’t lift anyone and will have a net negative impact on poverty. Unless the city stops meddling in these things there will never be a middle class tax base that will support new jobs and services (including decent schools) that will help everyone and actually lift people out of poverty through education, opportunity, and work. What’s short sighted is feeling good about yourself because you keep the status quo. 50 years of progressive housing policy isn’t enough for you to realize it ain’t working? You are concerned about the wrong people if you aren’t concerned about middle class families. Without them all the money, building, and handouts in the world will not make a bit of difference to this city.

  • I love 14th street, but let’s not see the world thorugh rose-colored glasses. It still has a long way to go.

  • DC dude – it’s called votes… the more you attract me and anon, the less votes the incumbent gets. In the rest of the country, you have gerrymandering. In cities, you have social engineering. The government created an asset for themselves, the Metro. It has lots of problems and is underfunded. No one in the real world can stay in business operating in such a fashion. If a business ran Park Morton, it would preserve its investment, the government has paid (through housing subsidies) to have it decay. It is now trying a new experiment, because the first one didn’t work. This issue a lot bigger than Park Morton. As for Highland Park, obviously the rent they are charging isn’t what the market thinks it should be. They can lower the price or stay empty, but they can’t levy taxes to pay for their gamble.

  • What’s “low income” in D.C.?

  • Ed, Logan Circle isn’t a bastion of middle class families. For that matter, much of NW east of 16th St is either the very poor or professional singles or childless couples. While a small percentage of people will stick it out and deal with the dysfunction that still exists in these neighborhoods after they have kids, most won’t. That’s not “right” or “wrong” that’s just a fact. The part of DC we live in is at a crossroads that is only further amplified by the current economic situation. We’ve reached saturation of 20-somethings willing to live in $400K condos. That demographic doesn’t make a city on it’s own. Are we going to transform these old row-house neighborhoods for middle class families, including the thousands of African American families that were forced to abandon this city during the last 40 years, or are we going to choke? That’s the question. Basing development decisions on guilt is a poor tactic. I see very little guilt from the barking dog family or the drug-addled morons who scream at each other at 2AM on the street. Why so much guilt from people who want to see the city get better? We need to get over it or the city will remain with a hole in its heart.

  • Sassy, In DC to qualify as “low income” and get housing assistance an individual has to make under $40K ans a family of four has to make less than $60K.

  • Amen Anon, glad to know there’s the occasional like-minded person on this site and just to clarify, that was a bleeding heart, correct? The Great Society is not so great, the New Deal could have been a better Deal, what makes one think the party for the people’s Health Care Reform is going to work out? Of course, I guess if you think Barry Farms was a success, you would support more government involvement.

  • OK, so theoretically, people who teach, work on the Hill or for nonprofits or for local media outlets (

  • MY post WAS EATEN! Here ’tis again.

    OK, so theoretically, people who teach, work on the Hill, for nonprofits or for local media outlets (I’m looking at you washingtonpost.com) might qualify to live there since many of them (not all! but many) earn salaries lower than or equal to $40K. Is the thought here that those folks would “bring down property values and bring blight, poverty and crime to the neighborhood?”

  • Anon,

    If the city hadn’t “meddled in these things,” Columbia Heights would still be a slum. You want to pretend that if the government would just sit on its hands, middle class families would just magically reappear to fill the void. I agree that it is important to lure middle class families back into the city, but the way to do it is not to by sweeping poor people under the rug. You do it by taking the tax revenue that the young singles are bringing in and devoting it to better schools, better police, and, yes, even promoting affordable housing. That benefits everyone, not just folks in your particular income bracket.

  • Sassy – great list… all voting groups that would tend to vote for the expansion of government and all part of organizations that don’t operate profitably or even at break-even. I wonder why there is a proposal to bailout newspapers… without them the social engineering becomes more difficult.

    Berkshire Hathaway owns WaPo and it owns GEICO – Government Employee Insurance Co. – and the cycle continues. Warren Buffett is the face of Berkshire Hathaway, BH last year made large investments in GE and Goldman Sachs… I wonder who will profit from going green, a carbon exchange… we can charge fees to trade credits, brilliant?

  • The great irony is that the more that progressive policies in this city succeed in bringing hope to previously depressed areas of the city, the more it attracts the likes of Anon and Prediction, who come in with righteous indignation to claim what is “theirs” thanks to the inevitable forces of the free market. We are the victims of our own success. [Sigh…]

  • DCDude: you don’t make “better” schools or less crime by throwing money at the problem. DCPS won’t make appreciable gains in performance until the school population isn’t comprised almost entirely of kids on free lunches. It just won’t happen. The middle class families are the solution to those problems, not the result. HTFH.

    Sassy: The top limit of $40K isn’t the mean nor the median. Many people on housing assistance are making whatever SSI pays out or a lot less. We talking about the much higher percentage of “low income” DC residents here who are single mothers (or grandmothers) with a supporting cast of 2 or more kids. Let’s not get cute to make a point.

    Prediction: Don’t invite me to any tea bagger events, pls.

  • Prediction: two things.

    1)If you hate Sassy’s list – which would include staffers at NEI, few of which make the hundreds of thousands of dollars necessary to afford “market-rate” housing in the city – what are you supporting? If you just generally resent “government”, why are you here? I mean, of all places.

    2)Are you seriously comparing Barry Farms to any myriad number of HOPE VI projects? Do you know the difference between high modernism and neighborhood development? Do you know the difference between concentrations of poverty and mixed-income neighborhoods? Hell, do you even know the difference between near and far?

  • Incidentally, Prediction, I noticed you never answered your question of whether you think your social experiment (i.e. trolling the site) will be more effective or produce better results than any other kind of social experiment (i.e. mixed-use/mixed-income development).

  • I will be leaving in the next year, so I can rent my house to a naive progressive, legally sheltering the rental income from tax, especially fica, through the use of tax depreciation. By the time I’m ready to sell, a progressive will have paid me a healthy retirement. And you should worry the listing on craigslist won’t predict that an uber hipster will be my victim, but I’d say the odds are in my favor. Here’s to you dcdude… by the time you are 60 maybe you’ll understand the experiment isn’t working… until then hope and change should keep you going.

  • “you don’t make ‘better’ schools or less crime by throwing money at the problem. DCPS won’t make appreciable gains in performance until the school population isn’t comprised almost entirely of kids on free lunches.”

    Translation: “You want to cure poverty and its ill-effects? Get rid of poor people.” Brilliant…

  • “I will be leaving in the next year, so I can rent my house to a naive progressive…”

    Let’s call that a win-win…

  • JD – Barry Farms was phase I, this is the next phase. I bet Barry Farms was a smashing success when it opened, but as the years went on…. You won’t know for a long time if Park Morton was a success, I predict it will not be. Am I trolling because I have a different opinion than you? Such a progressive to not debate the issues, and resort to name calling…

    My social experiment is the barking dog… i’ll let you know what happens.

  • J.D., “mixed income” in an already depressed area is a oxymoron. If 30% low income was approved in Silver Spring or upper, upper NW you might have a point, but in zipcodes like 20009 and 20010 where fully 65% of the residents are under the national poverty line you’re point is inane. There is nothing “mixed” about it, it’s more of the same. Also, while you were pouting about Prediction refusing to answer your questions you’ve managed to avoid answering mine about your extensive experience living next to a homeless shelter and why Columbia Heights / Park Morton needs more poverty?

  • DCDude: You are the one that keeps saying “get rid of them” I keep suggesting that we make less of them. Building in more poverty isn’t the answer to the question unless the question is “how do you make progressives feel good about themselves without doing anything substantive?” You can’t spend people out of ignorance and dysfunction if all they are surrounded by and all they see is the same sort of ignorance and dysfunction. I asked J.D. and everyone else before, are you going to live in this building with your children? Are you going to live next to a homeless shelter with your children? Then WTF would you expect anyone else with any sense, whether poor or not, to do the same? Wake up. This model, now in use for nearly 50 years, is an abject failure. You attract middle class families and you make more middle class families in their wake. This city will remain like a zombie until we stop appealing to the lowest common denominator and stop making decisions based on guilt.

  • Wait a minute. Rebuilding Park Morton so that it that maintatins the current number of low income residents and adds to it new work force and market rate units means more poor people to you? I suggest you pull out a calculator. It would decrease your 65% statistic, not increase it.

  • Ben Ali just died. 40 years ago he committed to creating an example for this city about what a hard-working family could do. He is to be commended for that. He also was a father and after the fires died out he took his family to the isolated rich enclave of North Portal. He did no different than any other middle class African American family did. If we want the Ben Ali’s of the world to return and fill the promise of rebuilding this city, 40 year too late, we need to abandon this stupendously counter-productive guilt projects like “mixed housing” and concentrate on making the Petworth, Brightwood, and Columbia Heights neighborhoods attractive to WORKING people with families and not dysfunctional hooligans looking for nearly free rent. You can wrap yourself in knots to produce an atypical example of a “non-profit” worker or a teacher making $40K, but just because you’re so wrapped up in the p.c. politics of the region and are so deluded you ignore what you see with your own eyes on the street every damn day, doesn’t mean you can fool anyone else. Most importantly, you can’t fool middle class families who will remain outside the city until this idiocy ends or they, like Ben Ali, can afford private school and North Portal.

  • Better schools and less crime would do the trick also… less crime, less police, less taxes, more money for these “poor” people, but maybe less votes. By creating work force housing for specific occupations, you are rewarding a position instead of performance. If you fire the person, which rarely happens in government, you’ll have to kick them out of the house. Your heart certainly couldn’t tolerate that… I’m all about taking care of sick people, I’m not about taking care of people who are capable of taking care of themselves.

    Why did the mass exodus DC (and all other urban centers) exodus occur?

  • DCDude, you might want to read up on this project before you take a position. This development is 500+ units, more than triple the current size, and, as quoted in the article: “The Park Morton project is one of four designated New Communities, […] all of which, the Mayor today promised, would continue forward with a guarantee of ‘no displacement’ for current residents.” So, even if they do not award a single solitary new apartment to a low income person the effect on poverty is NO CHANGE. All this is amounts to is a big pay day for Fenty’s building industry backers. Presto, an instant Park Morton 2.0.

  • Wow… excuse the last sentence, pick one exodus or the other. If you use the first one add an “of” before DC, if you use the second one, just don’t use the first one.

  • [email protected]:16 – The “work force” section of this development is aimed at the middle class people you are referring to. It seems to me that mixed income projects are designed to avoid the very problem you identified – DC being structured along the lines of the very few, very rich and the very poor. Maybe you would suggest making the entire project “work force.” The problem with that is the poor people living in these communities now have to live somewhere. Relegating all of them to the poor parts of the city will only make the problems in those neighborhoods worse. But maybe that doesn’t matter to you because you don’t live in those neighborhoods. I think there is no reason this development can’t work if all of the residents are held to certain standards of conduct, which is what the community should be demanding.

    [email protected]:21 – I would love to hear an explanation of how changing Park Morton from 100% low income to 30% low income is creating more poverty.

    On schools – No middle class family (or poor family with other options) is going to move to a neighborhood with bad public schools. The schools have to improve first before they become attractive to middle class parents. Pretty much all of the families I know who’ve left DC (even those who left gentrified areas like Adams Morgan) left because their kids were reaching school age and they did not have any good non-private options in DC.

  • Oh good grief. Pen to paper folks… There are currently 174 low income units at Park Morton. The new project proposes to demolish these units, and replace them with approx. 500 new units, roughly a third of which will remain low income housing. What’s a third of 500? 167! Roughly the same number of units as there are now. Add to that approx. 333 new units of work force and market rate units and the percentage of people living in poverty in Ward 1 goes down, not up.

  • Marcus A. — If the apartments above the Metro and above Yes! are empty because prices are too high, then they’re not “market rate” and they will remain empty until the rents come down. That’s the way markets work.

    By the same token, I don’t understand this business of planning “affordable” housing if market rates are already “affordable” in Edgewood, Anacostia and Hyattsville.

  • Let market forces work. If new buildings aren’t filling up, then they’ll naturally lower prices to what the market can support.

    We shouldn’t artificially define which income brackets should be able to live where.

    Again, leave it open to the market. Eventually, they’ll have to lower their rents.

  • It was said above that “affordable” is defined as income of no more than $40k/yr max for a single person and $60k/yr for a family of four. I guess the question is how does the city determine who get’s these units?

    Is there a prefernce for those who make well below the cut off rate? Is it first come first served? Do folks on the Section 8 waiting list get offered these units (including workforce since there is no floor for income – right?)

    I guess those who want to paint the most optimistic picture want us to think there will be a lot of people at the top end of the income cutoff rates (i.e. lot’s of singles making $39k/yr)

    Those who would want the project seem more like housing for the poorest of the poor could point to how there appears to be no income floor – so couldn’t a lot of it (65%) be section 8?

    I think this project will be a great thing for Park View as it will provide improved housing for the 167 families presently living in really bad conditions. I don’t know (see above) who will occupy the other 333 units, but in any case it should be an improvement over what we have now. Especially since the city will work with the current residents to improve safety and increase the conditions for eviction for those engaged in criminal activity in units.

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