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Mayor Bowser Delivers Affordable Housing in Congress Heights

Friday, April 26, 2019
Preservation Effort Will Create 220 Units at Parkway Overlook and Provide Energy Savings for Families with Use of Solar Panels

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated the opening of the first 70 rehabilitated affordable housing units at Parkway Overlook Apartments in Congress Heights in Ward 8. At completion, the complex, which has been vacant since 2007, will have 220 units, provide workforce development training to residents, and deliver energy savings with the installation of solar panels through the District’s Solar for All program.

“My Administration has made affordable housing a top priority, whether by building it, preserving it, or bringing it back to life like at Parkway Overlook,” said Mayor Bowser. “With the right investments, we know we can provide housing that serves families of all sizes to ensure a prosperous and inclusive DC.”

The $82.2 million rehabilitation project, located at 2841 Robinson Place, SE, near the Congress Heights Metro Station and St. Elizabeths East Campus, will serve households earning up to 50 percent of the area median income, or about $58,600 for a family of four.

This effort in affordable housing preservation was made possible through the collaboration of four District government agencies: the DC Housing Authority (DCHA), the DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the DC Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). DHCD provided $20.1 million in financing through the Housing Production Trust Fund. DCHFA issued over $38 million in bond financing for the project, as well as an estimated $29.6 million in equity raised through an offering of four percent low income housing tax credits. DOEE provided a $5 million Solar for All grant to fund the 717kW solar and battery installation which will mark the largest solar PV generation facility in the District. Wells Fargo is a partner in the transaction providing the construction and permanent debt as well as a LIHTC and solar tax credit equity investment.

“Once again, working with our city and community partners, we were able to bring this affordable community back to former residents and their families and a whole new generation of Washingtonians,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “DCHA self-developed this property, an exciting milestone for the agency, and included a solar array for energy efficiency and extra sustainability, making it one of the largest solar projects in the District.”

The units will be comprised of 53 one-bedrooms, 108 two-bedrooms, and 59 three-bedroom apartments to accommodate a variety of family sizes. The project also includes 13 units accessible to individuals with disabilities. Job training, classes in workforce development and financial literacy, and after-school activities will be offered at the community building. The entire complex received new heating and cooling systems, appliances, electrical systems, kitchens, and bathrooms. The community building is also being upgraded to include a fitness room, business center, resident lounge, and study lounge.

“I’m thanking God right now—220 apartments 100 percent of them affordable for poor, working class, and moderate-income families will begin opening up this week. Multiple families that lived here a decade ago with me, will be returning to this hallowed ground,” said Cynthia Eaglin, co-president of the Parkway Overlook Tenants Association.

Co-President of the Parkway Overlook Tenants Association Rufaro Jenkins said, “As a native Washingtonian, I know that it took faith, perseverance, commitment, organizing, and action in order for us to witness the memorable moment of a ribbon cutting at Parkway Overlook.”

DOEE’s Solar for All program, which aims to provide the benefits of solar power to 100,000 low-income households by 2032, provided technical assistance and grant funding for this project to support the installation of rooftop and ground-mounted solar and battery storage. The solar array will generate enough electricity to support 30 percent of the property’s energy consumption and the battery storage will enable the property to continue functioning in the event of an extended power outage. Parkway Overlook will be one of the District’s first multifamily properties to include solar and battery storage for resilience. The cost savings from solar will offset Parkway Overlook’s operating costs, resulting in increased affordability for residents.