For Release: November 14, 2022

Mayor Bowser: This “Transformational Idea” Will Spur Quick Action for Affordable Housing in Ward 3

In response to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s call for “transformational ideas” for her third term,  NW Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation (NWOP CDC) invites the Mayor and the Council to establish and fully fund the Affordable Housing Property Acquisition Fund (AHPAF)  to meet the goals for affordable housing in high cost, high opportunity areas where little available public land is available for development.

“The mayor set a goal of 1990 units of new affordable housing units by 2025 for Rock Creek West Planning Area (predominately Ward 3).  We have achieved only 3.5% of that goal,” said Meg Maguire, Chair of NWOP CDC.  “Inclusionary zoning is producing only a small fraction of what is needed.  The truth is, that while we are creating many new jobs in Ward 3, people who work here cannot afford to live here.” 

The Fund will enable, mission-driven developers to move quickly to acquire and develop private commercial property for mixed-use affordable projects that include:

  • 75% permanently affordable rental and/or ownership housing with family-sized units in four planning areas the city has targeted for more affordable housing:  Rock Creek West, Rock Creek East, Capital Hill, and Upper Northeast
  • Priority occupancy for DC residents who have lived in the city for 10+ years or who have been subject to displacement and other types of discrimination
  • Innovative models including social housing, land trust ownership, rent-to-own, limited equity cooperatives and other wealth-building strategies. 

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), institutions that lend money to developers of affordable housing, will administer the AHPAF similar to the role they play in NYC and Montgomery County, among others.  Two potential funding sources are proposed: 1) $100 million from the Marquis Marriott ground lease sale; 2) $120 million from an appropriation of $30 million matched 3:1 by CDFIs.”

“We must shift the focus from tallying “units of housing” to creating thriving, affordable housing communities where families can grow, build assets, and serve our city with their gifts and talents. By substantially reducing the cost of land, the proposed Affordable Housing Property Acquisition Fund can ensure a better and more just future for our neighborhoods and our city,” said Maguire.

We believe in the power of shared vision and sustained commitment to create dynamic communities for all people, regardless of income.

NW Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation