How DC is Investing Agency Dollars into Affordable Housing

by Nena Perry-Brown

Rendering of the HIP development on E Street SE

Last month, DC launched its Vacant to Vibrant program, a multi-pronged initiative to accelerate the city’s workforce housing efforts. One of those initiatives involves the DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA), a body typically known for providing homebuyers’ assistance and bonds to facilitate private development. Now, DCHFA is six months into its Housing Investment Platform (HIP) pilot program. 

Launched last June, HIP created a Single-Family Investment Pilot program that the agency will use to enter into joint ventures with local developers, providing equity in exchange for the creation of for-sale workforce housing units. In July, DCHFA closed its first transaction, a partnership with H2DesignBuild and City First Bank to build five townhouses on the 2500 block of Elvans Road SE (map). Designed by Gaines Kelly Design House, each home will have an interior garage, three-bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The houses are near completion and will be priced in a range affordable for households earning up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI).

Rendering of the HIP development on Elvans Road SE

Last month, DCHFA closed a land deal for a parcel in the 5100 block of E Street SE (map), paving the way for a partnership with H2 that could yield up to 16 townhouses. This development is anticipated to break ground within the next 60 days. Both of the aforementioned sites were acquired from private sellers.

Next in the pipeline are two projects, one at 1657-1661 Gales Street NE (map) and another at 2501-2514 West Street SE (map). The former is expected to deliver four units across two stacked flats; the latter could deliver up to seven townhouses. “It’s the type of location that, a couple of years from now, may be unattainable, so this is really our attempt to invest in an emerging location and allow local residents who earn moderate incomes to become homeowners before market forces make it unaffordable,” DCHFA executive director Todd Lee noted about the West Street site.

Eventually, DCHFA hopes to be able to bring additional private investors in to broker these deals and find other unorthodox ways to develop workforce housing. “We’re attacking two things: affordable housing in its classic sense of housing that is affordable to those at 60 percent AMI and below, as well as providing capital for housing that is affordable to the city’s workforce,” Lee explains.

DCHFA put a Request for Qualifications out to local developers in hopes of building a roster of potential future partners for HIP; Friday was the last day to apply. The agency hopes to select a development partner for each of the DHCD sites in the pipeline within 30 days, breaking ground within the 60 days thereafter.

Correction: The article previously stated that the Request for Qualifications closes today, January 8th; it closed on Friday, January 5th.

See other articles related to: workforce housing, h2, dhcd, dchfa

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/how-dchfa-is-investing-agency-dollars-into-affordable-housing/13423

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »

Upcoming Seminars ▾