The New Plans For More Housing West of Rock Creek

  • December 16th 2021

by Nena Perry-Brown

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The Chevy Chase Community Center

After years of speculation, confirmation has come that housing will be built on a key public site in Ward 3.

At a press conference this morning, ANC 3/4G Chair Randy Speck announced that the campus of the Chevy Chase Community Center and Library will be redeveloped as a gateway to the city, and the redevelopment will include housing. That announcement was a good lead in to a number of other initiatives aimed at producing housing in this section of the city. 

Mayor Bowser, the Office of Planning (OP) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) announced a number of efforts and initiatives toward affordable housing production, particularly in the Rock Creek West planning area.

Map of where planning efforts are in the works in Rock Creek West. Click to enlarge.

Today, OP released the Rock Creek West Roadmap, which identifies various planning tools and programs, such as the higher-density land use designations made along the Wisconsin Avenue and Connecticut Avenue corridors in the amended Comprehensive Plan, that can be used to produce affordable housing in Rock Creek West. 

In January, DHCD will release a request for proposals (RFP) for a pilot program ("Cash 2 Covenant") to incentivize multi-family property owners in Rock Creek West to place affordability covenants on vacant units. The units would be placed under a covenant for at least 15 years to remain affordable to households earning up to 80% of median family income. A similar proposal was introduced in DC Council earlier this year.

DHCD will also release a request for applications tomorrow for a $1 million proposed program to help at least ten faith-based institutions develop affordable housing. This assistance will include such things as predevelopment grants or loans to help these institutions create and move forward with a housing development concept.

The mayor's office anticipates that at least 2,400 affordable units could be produced in Rock Creek West by way of the new initiatives. Much attention has been given over the past few years to how to kickstart housing production in Rock Creek West, where very little development has taken place compared to other parts of the city. Since the mayor's office released housing production goals by city planning area in 2019, none of the 1,990 affordable units proposed for this area have been produced. A Small Area Plan is in the works for Chevy Chase and is expected to be presented to DC Council next spring.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the-new-plans-for-more-housing-west-of-rock-creek/19072.

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