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  • Andrew

    Is the city still wanting to make this 90% low-income housing?

    • textdoc

      Not sure. The RFP from 6/30/16 says:
      “Based on feedback received through the OurRFP process, residents and community members desire a project that reflects the important value of these sites to the neighborhood and embodies the following characteristics:
      – As much affordable housing above the 30% minimum requirement as viable, targeting the lowest income bands and including housing reserved for senior citizens, ADA-compliant units, and opportunities for homeownership”

    • textdoc

      Last I remember, the city wanted to make this 30% subsidized housing rather than 90%, and activist Sam Jewler (and maybe others from Jews United For Justice? I can’t remember) was up in arms about the shift.

      • textdoc

        I think the shift from 90% subsidized housing to 30% subsidized housing was also the result of the city’s shifting the project from DCHA (District of Columbia Housing Authority) to DMPED (Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development).

        • jonah

          This is my understanding as well. There was some questioning last term by ANC 4C to DMPED about why this change happened. I don’t recall any answers that reassured those who wanted more low income housing.

        • JS

          The city realized that financing a 90% affordable building would cost something like a third to half of the Housing Production Trust Fund and pulled back from such a high affordability ratio. City reps then started using the phrase “as much affordable housing as can realistically be financed” in community meetings, giving themselves further wiggle room to move off the original 90% number.
          Building a 200 unit building comprised almost entirely of subsidized units would basically run in direct opposition to the best practices of creating mixed-income communities and I hope the city goes for a more balanced market/subsidized mix.

          • Michael Arnone

            +1. Spot-on.

  • anon

    Will the community be allowed to ask questions? Or will JUFJ be there to shout down anyone who questions 110% of housing being at -20% AMI?

    • JS

      This is probably the most likely outcome. They will then spam the comments sections of all the meeting write-ups denying that anyone supported anything less than 150% subsidized housing.

      • Vicar

        This is exactly what happened.
        Also, there is now the opportunity to give input on the proposals, but no address/actual resident checking.

  • textdoc
  • Anon

    Opportunity for community input = We’ve already made a decision about this and would like to give you some more flyers about it

    • textdoc

      This sounds all too likely to me. But I might attend anyway.

      • textdoc

        Dammit — I overlooked the “Thurs. night” in the PoPville thread title, was looking only at the flyer (which says “May 25” and provides no day of the week), and showed up tonight… only to find that there was no meeting, because the 25th is tomorrow.
        (And the DPR guy manning the sign-in desk laughed at me when I realized my mistake.)
        What is it with people who make flyers (or send e-mails) that have only the month and the date, with no day of the week?? I don’t know about other people, but when I see a random date like “May 10,” I have to look at a calendar to figure out what day of the week it is.

  • Moe

    I thought SOME was awarded the place. Did I read that here today or elsewhere?

  • Guillermo Brown

    It is irresponsible to rely on the opinion of an un-vetted group of “neighbors” who have no experience in funding or developing a project like this to drive the outcome of a project. I attended the first Our RFP meeting and there were people handing out stickers advocating for more affordable units in the project. I politely declined because I wanted to hear what the Deputy Mayor had to say first, and was repeatedly pressured into taking a sticker. To me this says that the community “preference” for more affordability is really an artificial condition created by a vocal minority of activists. It’s a shame that the City (and by extension this Our RFP process) fails to mitigate this danger.

    • textdoc

      And they weren’t even actual neighbors.

  • Sarah k

    The old hebrew home will become affordable housing, that seems to be a given. It’s what happens to the Robeson school and the remainder of the site I am concerned about. I’ll fight any proposal to put apartments on the remainder of the site but would support townhomes.

    • Please elaborate

      Curious as to why you say this, I don’t believe this is a given at all. The old Hebrew Home will be the high market value units, as it is a historical building and can’t be razed. The Robeson school will be razed and turned into a tall apartment building like the Ga ave safeway, with underground parking. The city will make a ton of cash.

  • Anonymous

    I second all of the angst about outside groups like Jews for Justice busing activists in from Maryland, Virginia and other parts of DC. This decision should be made by those that live in the neighborhood. Just those that live near the Old Hebrew Home shouldn’t be able to weigh-in on a local Takoma Park or Chevy Chase (both Ward 4) issues. The nearby community has tried to be engaged, but as others have mentioned, have been shouted down and yelled at by affordable housing activists. I was even shouted at by Jews for Justice as I walked into a Brandon Todd Happy Hour. It was ridiulous and over the top. That being said, I’m sure they will be there and I hope the city officials ignore their political rhetoric.
    I support affordable housing as a general rule, but to do this 90% affordable, it would take nearly all of the city’s housing fund to subsidize it. How is that fair to the other wards? I think a mix of some affordable, some market rate and some seniors makes sense. And it shouldn’t be able one bedroom apartments. We need some family size units. Finally, I hope the developer is committed to maintaining and securing the building long term. There is an active group of neighbors nearby and they won’t accept anything less.

    • Anonymous

      Is it possible to restrict the meeting only to DC residents? It’s absurd that people from MD and VA are even attending. Are they an astroturf group for low-income developers? WTF.

  • Anonymous

    Since it’s pretty much a given that there will be an affordable housing element to this development, local residents would be smart to push that ALL low-income units be reserved for the elderly and handicapped. With those types of residents, the city will be much more involved in on-going maintenance and providing services.
    Think strategically.

  • DD

    Given that those of us who live next to the property are going to be the ones impacted by the development, I sure hope our thoughts are going to be given more attention than the typical activists who live elsewhere in the city (and in Maryland and Virginia in a lot of cases) – who try and come to these meetings and push their own agendas.

    If there is going to be a portion of this property reserved for lower income units, then there absolutely needs to be a fair balance of market rate housing as well, which is very representative of what the neighborhood currently is. That property is very large and would have a significant impact on an area that is heavily residential and pretty quiet compared to much of Columbia Heights. We’ll certainly be there tonight to ensure our thoughts are known.

    • Vicar

      Not unless you speak directly to local politicians, but then you’ve got Nadeau who works for/with this group. Her rep was at the meeting with one of their stickers on.

      • Thought

        If true, that’s disgusting (but not surprising).
        Shame on Nadeau for allowing her paid staff to advocate for an outside group at a community meeting.

  • Neighborly

    During the time allotted for public comment, I hope the Commissioners ask commenters to identify themselves by name and address, or at the very minimum, by ward and SMD of residence. Comments from neighbors who live in the immediate vicinity of this huge project should be given considerably more weight than activists from outside the neighborhood whose lives will not be impacted by the development.

    There must be a way to balance the conversation so that the voices of those of us who legitimately spend our lives here aren’t drowned out by people who don’t. We live, work, spend money, pay taxes, and work tirelessly to sustain and improve the Community here, and should be the ones driving the decisions.

    We the Community should have the strongest voice in what happens next, because we will be responsible for sustaining it long after the activists and the developers have left.

    Our Neighborhood, Our Community, Our Responsibility, Our Decisions.

    • Anonymous

      The only problem is asking for which ward is the fact Ward 4 is the largest geographically. Takoma Park is known for it’s far left activist base. I would never weigh-in on an issue effecting Takoma Park, Chevy Chase, Bightwood or Crestwood (all Ward 4). Bottom line, these activists are trying to politicize the issue for their own gain.

  • P


    Some interesting history of the property.


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