NW Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation (NWOP CDC) is a not-for-profit corporation formed by committed affordable housing advocates who first came together in January 2021. Having embraced the Mayor’s goal of creating 1,990 units of affordable housing in Rock Creek West by 2025, we knew that we needed to couple bold advocacy with funding to reframe the affordable housing narrative and help people visualize alternative development scenarios.
We first met as members of Empower DC and the DC Grassroots Planning Coalition (DCGPC). Some of us organized Ward 3 Housing Justice as an affiliate of DCGPC, and others organized the Wardman Hotel Strategy Team.
When the 16-acre Wardman Hotel property in Woodley Park fell into bankruptcy, we urged the District to acquire and repurpose the hotel for 500 units of mixed-income affordable housing, new businesses, and community services in one beautiful, carefully planned campus featuring a variety of housing options — from rental to ownership – to provide for economic mobility. Although the District has yet to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we learned powerful lessons about the strength of partnership, coalition, and shared vision.
As we take these lessons forward into NW Opportunity Partners CDC, we will continue to advocate for healthy communities filled with affordable housing and dynamic new businesses.
A Board of Directors leads the CDC, and an active Advisory Committee informs our work.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors currently consists of four members, three from Ward 3 and one from Columbia Hts. As we expand our Board, we will engage experts to help us create affordable housing and boost economic development in Ward 3.
Meg Maguire, Chair, came to DC in 1977, serving with the Carter Administration at the U.S. Department of Interior; as President of Scenic America; and as a founding partner in Maguire/Reeder, a video/multi-image production company. She is a trustee of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City and co-chairs both the Housing and Vision Awards subcommittees. From 2004-2012 she chaired the Site Development Task Force of First Congregational United Church of Christ at 10th and G St., NW; and subsequently represented the church on the Design Advisory Panel for the MLK, Jr. Library renovation.
Margaret Dwyer, Vice Chair, is a retired Assistant Superintendent of Schools (White Plains Public Schools, New York) and resident of Friendship Heights who has been active in housing justice activism for several years in organizations including SURJ-DC, Empower DC, Barry Farm Tenants and Allies Association, DC Grassroots Planning Coalition, and Ward 3 Housing Justice. She holds a doctorate from Teachers College Columbia University.
Carol Aten, Secretary-Treasurer, is a resident of the Palisades and an attorney whose professional career included work in both the Federal government and non-profit organizations including the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Park Service, and the Department of Defense as the Housing Manager of an Army base in Italy. She retired from the U.S. Geological Survey as the Associate Director of Administrative Policy and Services and as Chief Financial Officer overseeing the organization’s $1 billion annual budget.
Deirdre Brown is a 3rd generation Washingtonian, a Palisades resident former ANC Commissioner for 3 F04, and a title company owner. Deirdre received her Juris Doctor from UDC, David A. Clarke School of Law. She has advocated to the Council on policies that impact housing and increase the pathway to homeownership. Her experiences in housing, education, and business have motivated her to use her talents to improve the lives of others, particularly as it applies to housing affordability issues.
William Jordan Jr. is a 34-year resident of D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood in Ward 1. He received his training in electrical engineering at Howard University. Over the last 20 years he has served as an ANC Commissioner, PTA President, Main Streets board member, co-founded community action task forces and farmers’ markets and has been active in neighborhood planning and community development. He also serves a Trustee Board Member at Anacostia’s Union Temple Baptist Church. He brings his experiences gained through development battles in Columbia Heights to enrich our understanding of development patterns as a volunteer data analyst.
Current partners and advisors include:
Detrice Belt, President Barry Farm Tenants and Allies Association, Building the ‘Should Be’ Community
Philip A. Esocoff, FAIA – Architectural Advisor
G. Patrick Johnson, PhD. – Civil Engineering, Stanford University – Data analysis
Jean M. Johnson, PhD, – Stanford International Education Center, Stanford University– Data analysis
Nancy MacWood, Former ANC 3C Commissioner – Planning and Housing Policy
Merrick T. Malone, Esq. – Development Consultant
Coy McKinney Urban Agriculture High School Teacher, SW Action, SW Community Gardens, and Board of Directors, Douglass CLT – Community Land Trusts
Parisa Norouzi, Executive Director, Empower DC – Community-Led Development
NW Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation