Mayor Muriel Bowser, District of Columbia Housing Authority, D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, D.C. Housing Finance Agency and development partners celebrated the start of the massive rehabilitation of the long vacant Parkway Overlook Apartments property which will bring 220 affordable units, new jobs, and economic development to Ward 8 and all of D.C.’s residents.   

“This project is an example of how our Administration is committed to delivering affordable housing for residents, no matter how complicated and complex the process may be,” Bowser said. “With these investments, we are making it possible for residents to return to Parkway Overlook and for more families to secure the housing and community services they need to succeed.”

“Working together, all of these agencies and community partners made this rehabilitation possible, breathing new life into these buildings and creating more affordable homes for former residents and many new families,” said DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “DCHA is self-developing this property, an exciting milestone for the agency, and including a solar array for energy efficiency and extra sustainability.”

The $82.2 million gut rehabilitation of the complex, located at 2841 Robinson Place, S.E. near the Congress Heights Metro station, will deliver a total of 220 units that will be comprised of one-, two-, and three-bedrooms and all will be affordable to households making up to 50 percent of the area median income or about $54,600 for a family of four. Eleven units will be available for households at or below $33,090 (30 percent of Area Median Income) and will be set-aside as permanent supportive housing. The project will also include 13 units that will be handicapped accessible.  Training and classes in workforce development, financial literacy and after-school activities will be offered based on community needs.

“To know that this new development can be a family community again, I’m really excited to see it redeveloped,” said Cynthia Eaglin, co-president of the Parkway Overlook Tenants Association. “I’m so happy DCHA was willing to work with the tenant association to see this happen. We went through three different mayors, more than five developers…it has been 10 long years of fighting for this property to be developed. We went through a number of people and had a lot of help. I’m real thankful. All my praises go to God first.”

Co-President of the Parkway Overlook Tenants Association Rufaro Jenkins said, “I am very grateful to God. This has been a long journey and I know that without him I couldn’t have kept the faith to fight for a great cause. I am grateful for my co-pilot, Ms. Eaglin, and the Washington Interfaith Network, who have been fighting this fight with me for almost a decade. Knowing that it was important for us to see former residents have the right to return to a community where we suffered from inhabitable conditions, we now have the opportunity to see the vision for a better community that will allow former residents the right to return as well as other residents in the community and Washington, D.C.” 

DHCD provided $20.1 million in Housing Production Trust Fund financing towards the project. DCHFA provided bond financing in the amount of $38,041,000 and Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $29,674,119 in equity. Wells Fargo is a partner in the transaction providing the construction and permanent debt, as well as a low income housing tax credit and solar tax credit equity investment.

Wells Fargo Community Lending and Investment Vice President Kevin Hall, who volunteers in this community, said, “Wells Fargo is very proud to invest in this project. We are thrilled to see this important asset being brought back to full use. Taking something that has been a blight on the neighborhood and making it into beautiful and affordable homes for so many in the city is wonderful.”

The DCHA Board of Commissioners approved using 55 project-based vouchers for the complex in October. Project-based vouchers provide a subsidy that stays with the building and does not travel with the renter.

The DCHA Board of Commissioners approved using Solar for All grant monies towards the project in November. The D.C. Department of Energy and Environment awarded a total of $5 million to DCHA for use on various properties, as part of a larger program that aims to reduce electric bills by 50 percent in some 100,000 low-income District households by 2032. The Parkway Overlook project design includes over 2,400 solar panels and battery storage that will allow the property to continue functioning in the event of an extended power outage. The solar panels and battery storage will cost an estimated $2.7 million. The solar panels, which will generate enough energy to support 30 percent of the energy consumption of the property, will be located on the rooftops as well as in a solar farm on the property.

The entire complex also is slated to undergo a gut renovation and receive new heating and cooling system, appliances, electrical systems, kitchens, and bathrooms. The leasing office will move to a more welcoming location directly on Robinson Place, and the community building will be upgraded to include a fitness room, business center, resident lounge, and study lounge.

Since coming into office, the Bowser Administration has sparked the creation or preservation of more than 9,600 affordable units, with another 3,300 units in preconstruction. In Fiscal Year 2017, the District made historic investments in affordable housing, getting more than $138 million in Housing Production Trust Fund financing out the door to support 23 projects that will produce or preserve more than 1,900 affordable units.

The District’s multi-pronged approach to housing production and preservation, homeownership, and development of vacant properties is winning national recognition. On September 11, the District was selected for the Urban Land Institute’s Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award. This annual award, provided by ULI’s Terwilliger Center for Housing, recognizes innovative ways the public sector is addressing the nation’s affordable housing crisis.

Cynthia Eaglin (left) and Rufaro Jenkins of the Parkway Overlook East/West Tenants Association celebrate at the groundbreaking.
Mayor Muriel Bowser
Council member Trayon White
Ward 8 resident George W. Smith and Cynthia Eaglin lead the crowd in "We Have Come This Far by Faith."
DCHA Executive Director Tyrone Garrett takes a swing to symbolically start the renovations.
Last modified: 3/26/2018 2:51:46 PM