Another Update on Old Hebrew Home Development – Next Meeting Sept. 9th

1125 Spring Road, NW

“Dear PoPville,

DC government has posted materials about the project here.

The results of a resident survey are available here.

The city has their own spin on it. The city suggests that 80% of respondents want “some” mix “ranging from 10% – 100%”.

Even using the skewed questions (only offering choices at % levels that seem pretty arbitrary), however, 72% of respondents want there to be 1/4 or less affordable housing in the complex.

That’s just a quick glance. There are some upcoming public meetings as well.”

From ANC Rep Vann-Di M. Galloway:

“The Department of General Services will host a follow-up to the August 12th Community Meeting. It will be held on Tuesday, 9 September from 6:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the Raymond Recreation Center in the Multipurpose Room on the second floor.

In this meeting we will discuss Program Development for 1125 Spring Road, N.W.”

24 Comment

  • Most of the people that I have spoken to that live around the site (within 6 blocks) definitely want under 1/4 affordable units with a greater focus on market rate and senior housing. The Jews for Justice brought in a bunch of outsiders to the last meeting who intimidated and shouted down anyone who was in favor of market rate. Many nearby neighbors (especially older folks and including myself) felt intimadated to speak out publicly.

    • Ah, if you say so. Thanks Mr. Gallup!

    • +1, dont forgot brianne nadeau – the next possbile ward 1 council member – is on the board of this outside group. so if u dont want 100% affordable housing then dont vote for her.

      • Brianne Nadeau is on the board of JUFJ, but 1) she’s said that if she’s elected, she’ll step down and 2) she’s also said that her position on the issue is not identical to JUFJ’s. I think she supports affordable housing in general, but — given DCHA’s poor track record — is skeptical as to whether DCHA is the agency that DGS should be handing this property off to.

        • No candidate should be supporting anything “in general.” Let’s see a real position. 10-25-50% ? Pick one. “Affordable” meaning what? Recipients of public assistance/Section 8? Elderly? Workforce housing? Be clear.

        • just b/c she steps down doesnt mean she doesnt have any loyalty to that group. since she’s on the board of directors it obvious means a lot to her. stepping down is just window dressing.

    • What makes you think the Jews united for justice folks don’t live nearby? I am one of them, and I live within 6 blocks. In fact, there are 6 active jufj members on my block, and 3 more on the next block over. Lots of justice loving Jews in north Columbia heights and petworth close to the site, actually.

      • Anonymous, its great to know you live 6 blocks away.

      • Then how come many of those who spoke at the meeting wouldn’t say where they lived? I am sure some Jews for Justice members live nearby. I am also sure a lot of them don’t, and none of the communications from JUFJ to it’s membership asked that only people living nearby participate in this local issue.

      • Living 6 blocks away doesn’t exactly qualify you as having to deal with the consequences of a concentration of low-income housing. 6 blocks away from the former hebrew home are Columbia Heights Village, the Park Morton, and a whole bunch of other low-income housing projects, yet I’d say residents of that block don’t think much about those projects.

        There’s a huge difference between 3/4 of a mile away and a block away. Would you be in favor of this being built across the street from a home you owned and couldn’t just move away from?

  • There were no/very few Hispanic/Latino neighbors at the last meeting. Not sure if a Spanish interpreter was even available. What can we do to reach this important and significant demographic?

  • why doesnt the city just sell it to a developer and use that money for other needed social services?

    • Because that would make sense.

    • and then where would you want affordable housing to be built? Don’t you think that neighborhood would have the same concerns?

      • how does this solve the affordable housing issue? it’s 1 building, a drop in the bucket. it’s a market and desirable neighborhoods cost more.

        • Affordable housing is the red-herring that politicians use when they can’t attract jobs and higher wages to an area. People seem to buy it, but thats the real issue. The Hebrew Home makes it easier for them, because its on the boarder of 2 wards and unless there is a large organized uprising, it buffers them from the fallout. I’m disappoint to learn that Briannie Nadeu is a supporter, I’m thinking write in Jim Graham. He was actually very good at balancing the needs to the rational.

  • Most of the buildings on 14th between Euclid and Irving are “affordable housing” there is senior housing on 11th and on 14th and Irving. There will now be a 40 room mens “dorm” on Irving at 14th. Perhaps some can go elsewhere – hey Logan Circle, want some “affordable housing”??
    How will this affect the economic development of upper 14th. Now that we have a Ruby Tuesdays and a TGIFridays, will they bring in an Applebees?
    If we want to encourage mid income people into the neighborhood – you know to keep the houses clean in in order and to raise the tax base, should we provide places for them as well. Seems that Columbia Hts is only interested in maintaining the status quo of being a low income place and not providing service for anyone else. When they say they want a diverse neighborhood – they mean more low and “affordable housing” there is no talk about the middle class.

    • This is a joke. Columbia Heights is only interested in being a low income place? The average home price in Columbia Heights is above $500,000 right now. Market rate housing will not encourage middle class people to move in. Most middle class people don’t have that much money and couldn’t afford to move into market rate housing.

      I don’t know the proper ratio or the best way to figure out the what level of affordable housing to market rate should be but people who try to make this middle class vs poor are not being very honest.

      • For what it’s worth, “affordable” housing is meant not for “middle-class” people but (depending on the percentage of Area Median Income (AMI) that’s used for the cutoff) for people with incomes defined as “low.”
        The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines 80% of AMI as “low income,” 50% as “very low income,” and 30% as “extremely low income.”
        In their presentations, the D.C. Department of General Services and the Housing Authority have said that they’re aiming for 60% of AMI and below. For a 1-person household, 60% of AMI is $44,940. For a 4-person household, it’s $64,200.

        • so its LOW income housing – oh great!!!!

        • I think everyone would be happy to see school teachers, artists, social workers, janitors, Target check-out clerks etc. making under $44,940 living here. But what really happens is not that.

        • Just to put a rough calculation on it, take AMI as $88,500 (ACS, 2012). 80% of AMI is $70,800. Say 1/3 of income devoted to housing: $23,364, which is $1,947 per month. That amount can finance a 30-year mortgage of roughly $325,000. At 60% of AMI, the mortgage is $245,000. At 40% of AMI, the mortgage is $162,500.

      • ok, then lets bring more rich people in…….like Logan Circle. Why does columbia hts have to be the “affordable housing mecca” Lets have some REAL diversity! Yay – “affordable housing – ymore loitering and chicken bones!

  • What a sham the last public meeting was. DGS provided some information and Councilwoman Bower reamined noncomittal. What was most telling was that none of the officials told the crowd just how it is then can provide feedback on what they think the housing mix should be for the project. While there was lots of vocal and acrimonious advocate for a high ratio of afforable housing, at no time were other less vocal — read: intimidated — participants invited to send anyone comments by email, visit a webste and provide comments, sign a comment sheet or anything. So just how exactly are DC officials providing local residents with a mechanism to weigh in on the issue. And no one could say just what weight this alleged feedback will have in determining the makeup of the housing? No answers were provided at all.

    Even more disheartening were the many unwelcoming and down right hostile comments about “new” residents to the neighborhood. While the obvious bias was mostly cloaked by referring to “new” residents, one “long-time resident” woman was openly hostile to non-Black residents. Funny how they forget that at sometime THEY must have been “new” residents to the neighborhood. But more appalling to me was not so much what these unkind people said, but that NOT ONE public official present called them on it. To a man, they all just stood there, said nothing, and allowed barely concealed and hateful racial comments about “new” residents to me made in a public forum. They and all who condoned it should be ashamed of themselves. The whole thing has made me loose faith in my neighborhood that I thought I loved so much.

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