(WASHINGTON, D.C. December 12, 2011)-- On December 20th, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Assistant Secretary Mercedes Márquez will join District of Columbia government leaders, residents, neighbors, and community developers to celebrate the ground breaking of Copeland Manor affordable housing in Washington, D.C.'s Marshall Heights neighborhood in Ward 7. Low-income families will soon be able to enjoy fully renovated, energy efficient affordable apartments. The preservation and renovation of Copeland Manor was made possible by a Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) grant funded through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Preserving and improving Copeland Manor will ensure that low- and moderate-income families can remain in their community and will help reverse the decline of a neighborhood that has been beset by home foreclosures and property abandonment. The recent economic and financial crises have severely affected the Marshall Heights neighborhood, reducing public and private investment that is needed to revitalize this working-class community.
Copeland Manor was plagued by significant financial problems, deteriorating physical conditions, and high and growing vacancy rates. To save their homes, residents selected the National Housing Trust-Enterprise Preservation Corporation (NHT/Enterprise) to help them acquire and rehabilitate their apartments. The rehabilitation of this housing will dramatically improve the physical condition of the buildings and the site, provide a much better quality of life for residents, and eliminate the most destabilizing conditions in the neighborhood.
"Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a quality community they're proud to call home," said Michael Bodaken, president of NHT/Enterprise. "Saving housing like Copeland Manor is essential for not only maintaining but also stabilizing diverse, vibrant, and mixed-income communities that include easy access to public transportation, jobs and other opportunities for low-income families."
Funding through HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) has proven critical to the preservation of Copeland Manor. A grant of $3.6 million in NSP2 funds is being used to help finance a substantial property and site renovation of approximately $56,000 per apartment and establish reserves to ensure the property is well capitalized for long term use as affordable housing. To secure NSP2 funding, NHT/Enterprise joined an experienced consortium led by the NHT Community Development Fund (NHTCDF) and the Telesis Corporation in submitting an application to HUD. Additionally, the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development reduced the debt on the cooperative by modifying the principle amount of the original acquisition loan from $4 million to a $1.8 million cash flow note.
"NSP is stabilizing neighborhoods, creating jobs, and rebuilding our economy," said Mercedes Márquez, HUD's Assistant Secretary. "I salute the hard work that has made this ground breaking for Copeland Manor possible. The Project Rebuild proposal in the American Jobs Act would scale these extraordinary investments with another $15 billion nationally."
The rehabilitation of Copeland Manor will create jobs and support the local economy. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, rehabilitating 61 apartments creates more than 79 well-paying jobs. Additionally, it is estimated that $1 spent on housing development provides at least $1.10 in additional economic activity. Thus, an investment of $3.6 million in NSP2 funds will produce approximately $4 million in economic activity for the District.
Renovations to the property will include all new bathrooms, new kitchens; the installation of ENERGY STAR appliances, low-flow kitchen and bathroom fixtures, fluorescent lighting, new low-albedo roofs, Green Label carpeting, low VOC paints and sealants, upgrades to electrical service, reconfiguration of ADA units, extensive site work, a new storm water management system, new building facades, secure entryways, and secured parking gates. A previous grant from the federal Weatherization Assistance Program provided energy efficient windows and new energy efficient HVAC systems for each apartment. Construction began in October 2011 and will be completed in August 2012. The rehabilitation of Copeland Manor will meet the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria as required by the District of Columbia. Residents will enjoy significant health and economic benefits as a result of utility saving and environmentally friendly improvements.
Copeland Manor supports the principle of affordable transit-connected housing as a key economic development strategy that encourages the growth of diverse neighborhoods, ensuring easy access to good jobs and services for low-income families in the Marshall Heights neighborhood. Copeland Manor is an ideal example of a transit oriented community because of its close proximity to public transportation. Within a half-mile there are seven separate metrobus line stops and the Benning Road Metro Station, serving the District's Blue Line. The preservation of well-located affordable housing like Copeland Manor is essential to the success of maintaining a vibrant, mixed-income neighborhood, while providing residents with access to amenities, transportation, and employment opportunities.
The acquisition and renovation of the 61 units will serve households below 80% of AMI and will further affordability by exceeding the NSP2 requirement that 25% of rehabbed units be targeted to households at or below 50% AMI. With this investment, Marshall Heights can achieve stabilization in its multifamily housing stock, which will attract and leverage additional private investment.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
11:30 am- 1:00 pm Copeland Manor
4710 C Street, SE Unit #302
Washington, DC 20019
NHT Community Development Fund
US Department of Housing & Urban Development
D.C. Department of Housing & Community Development
Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development (invited)
Office of Councilwoman Yvette Alexander
The Copeland Manor Cooperative, Inc.
Vision Realty Management
Remarks by Speakers
Ground Breaking Ceremony