Friday, April 18, 2014

Affordable housing coming to huge, abandoned Hebrew Home on Spring Road

Old Jewish Home on Spring Rd
 If you've ever walked down Spring Road NW between 13th and 10th, you've seen the old Washington Hebrew Home. I wrote about the home before, it opened in 1925 as a home for elderly Jewish people, expanded in 1935, then was sold to the city in 1968. The city used it as housing for homeless and poor people, then stopped using it around 2008. It's been abandoned ever since.

But now, something is happening. Park View DC reports that the plan is for the DC Housing Authority to renovate the building as 70 to 80 units of affordable housing, affordable defined as 60% of the area medium income, which would mean less than about $68,000 a year.

The plan is still early, and there will be community meetings and hearings about, but they're hoping to start this year and be finished by 2016 or 2017.

Sounds like a good plan to me -- more affordable housing for folks, and reusing a nice old building that is unfortunately abandoned.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

We don't need another housing project. How has that worked for Park Morton? The best way to do these things is to offer affordable housing, but also bigger apartments for higher income levels. It's also right across the street from a school. This is a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that 80 units of Section 8 housing, right next door to an elementary school, sounds like a good idea at all. Concentrated warehousing of poor residents is not the path to a sustainable community. Please - everyone write the city council to stop this plan.
- Pworth

Andrew W said...

This isn't a housing project or Section 8, it's housing for people whose annual incomes are up to $68,000.

Anonymous said...

Yes, up to $68,000. That's the max. Not the minimum. And that's combined household income. It should be mixed. Not soley for low income.

TooManyNewbs said...

thank god not another yuppie warehouse.

Neighbor said...

Agree - this should at a minimum be mixed housing. I understand there's a lack of affordable housing and public housing options in DC, but we have WAY more than our share already in Columbia Heights.

Andrew W said...

Incomes up to $68,000 would, to me, be mixed, no? $70k for a single person is a lot, though if it's a couple, less so.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -
Unfortunately the designation of $68K is basically meaningless. In practice, the project will be flooded with Housing Voucher (Section 8) applicants, most of whom will have much lower incomes. There will be a financial incentive to accept these applicants since rental income is guaranteed. The result will be 100% low-income housing, with all of the attendant problems for the neighborhood.

- Pworth

Anonymous said...

"Up to 60% AMI" is the same criteria at the Park Morton.

There is nothing good about this. Housing projects should mix market-rate with subsidized housing. Besdides this, the area already has so many housing projects within History has taught us that concentrating low income housing ends badly.

Why is this happening? There are already so many other public housing projects within spitting distance of here.

Andrew W said...

Are there others? Like what?

Anonymous said...

Oh man! Absolutely NOT a good idea! The proposal should be for mixed use - with at least 40 of the units sold at market rate. Complexes that are 100% dedicated as affordable housing are not good for anyone! Yes - I realize affordable/workforce housing is needed - but not like this! This doesn't even account for the parking problems that will happen! Please please please no! I will attend the May 14 6:30pm ANC meeting at the Petworth Library to share the concerns of my neighbors and my family!

Anonymous said...

This is an EXCELLENT idea!!!!! There are people in D.C that actually need to afford the city that they work in, outside of young working professionals. Said as, a young professional that graduated from Howard University. It is terrible how LOW-INCOME people are treated, and this needs to change. Especially, regarding the school system and affordable housing. So thank you city planners who are allow low-income residents reside closer to the schools that their children attend rather than forcing them to commute.