Last night was the community meeting on the redevelopment of 1125 Spring Rd NW, the old Washington Hebrew Home. As you may recall, the city plans to make it affordable housing, but at the meeting it was clear that local residents disagree on how much it should be.
The meeting also included a new detail, that the total project will have about 200 units, with 70-80 in the old Hebrew Home and the rest in a new building to be constructed adjacent to the existing building. I hadn't heard that before.
As I wrote yesterday, one group called Friends of the Hebrew Home is arguing for very little affordable housing, about 20%, while another called Neighbors for Affordable Housing advocate for a larger percentage. (The city's plan calls for the housing to be for people making less than 60% of the area median income.)
In my opinion, the FOHH group is using misleading tactics, and at the meeting last night, according to the City Paper, those two camps got into it a bit, with one person yelling, "Friends of the Hebrew Home, you are no friends of this community!" while others accused the Neighbors group of being from outside the neighborhood. The City Papers says most are from nearby but some are from farther away, and the group was organized by Jews United for Justice. (The name of the "Friends" group is also strange to me: what are they friends of, the building itself? And I had never heard about this group before, either.)
The city's Department of General Services, which handles buildings and such, revealed the results of the survey from a few weeks ago. Eighty percent of people wanted housing on the site, and 80% wanted some senior housing there, while 26% of people wanted only 10% to be for lower income people while 16% of people wanted the whole thing to be affordable. Others argued the survey wasn't representative, since it was just an only Survey Monkey and might exclude older people, poorer people, people without computers and the like.
It sounds like there wasn't a resolution, but at least the city (and local residents) have a better idea of what locals want, which seems to be a mix. What do you think?
WAMU's Martin Austermuhle and the City Paper's Aaron Wiener were both on the scene, so I made this rundown of their tweets from the night.