City and housing officials recently cut the ribbon on a new 190-unit affordable building in Southeast.

Archer Park, which will be affordable for households at or below 60 percent of the area median income, was officially opened on November 15. The District of Columbia Housing Authority is providing local subsidy for permanent support housing units for formerly homeless households at 30 percent AMI or below. Community of Hope will provide case management and support services for those families.

“I’m proud DCHA regularly joins with both public and private development partners in order to preserve and create more affordable housing in the District of Columbia,” said DCHA Tyrone Garrett. “DCHA is providing $2.2 million in subsidy to support 10 units for those with the highest needs.”

The building at 1200 Mississippi Avenue was constructed by WC Smith and features a fitness center, club room and underground parking. Archer Park is a model of green development, with a rooftop solar array, a green roof, and 80 bicycle parking spaces.

Mayor Muriel Bowser praised the latest addition to the city and highlighted the creative financing that it took to get the project built. The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development provided $11.3 million in subordinate financing from the Housing Production Trust Fund. The D.C. Housing Financing Agency provided 4 percent low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bond financing in the amount of $28.285 million. SunTrust Bank is the lender and Wells Fargo Bank is the tax credit investor partner.

“Under the current House tax reform bill, affordable housing projects like Archer Park would not be possible,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “It is unconscionable for any member of Congress to consider passing a tax reform bill that makes it more difficult for Americans to access affordable housing and a pathway to the middle class. I encourage every representative who is considering voting in favor of H.R.1 to come visit Archer Park and meet the families and individuals who are making a better life for themselves here; then, they can see firsthand the devastating effects H.R.1 will have on Americans across our country.”

DHCD’s Director Polly Donaldson agreed and said, the development partners “are working together to consolidate our resources together.”

WC Smith has long been active in the area around Archer Park. In 2007 and 2011, WC Smith led 800 volunteers to clean up and revitalize Oxon Run Park, rehabilitating the amphitheater and constructing a new baseball field on the opposite side of Mississippi Avenue. In 2005, WC Smith led the creation of THEARC, the Town Hall Education, Arts and Recreation Campus at 1900 Mississippi Ave SE, where nine nonprofit partners provide art and dance classes, medical care, afterschool programs, performances, healthy food and recreational opportunities to the broader community. Most activities are low or no cost. This winter the third building at THEARC will open, bringing the total number of partners to 14.

Council member Trayon White praised WC Smith for its ongoing work in the Ward 8 community and said, “Keep building buildings, but stay in the business of building people.”

DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett with WC Smith's Chris Smith
Mayor Muriel Bowser
DC DHCD Director Polly Donaldson
Last modified: 11/22/2017 1:43:40 PM