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W3 Housing Advocates Ask CM Cheh to Set Up Meeting with New Wardman Owner

Ward 3 Housing Justice | Wardman Hotel Strategy Team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 8, 2021

Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845, gsonnemann@gmail.com


Ward 3 affordable housing advocates are asking Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh to use her good offices to set up a meeting with Carmel Partners, the new owner of the former Wardman Hotel in Woodley Park because to date, Carmel has not responded to several requests for basic information as to their intentions for the property. The request is from the Wardman Hotel Strategy Team (WHST), Ward 3 Housing Justice (W3HJ), and Northwest Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation. It is a follow-up to the November 20 affordable housing rally in Woodley Park at which CM Cheh promised to work for affordable housing at the Wardman and throughout the ward that she represents.


Councilmember Cheh speaking at the rally


At the rally, which attracted some 100 participants, Margaret Dwyer, head of W3HJ, thanked CM Cheh for her early support of legislation for greater transparency and accountability in how the city uses millions of dollars in the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). Dwyer added: “The matter-of-right/PUD/IZ route has failed to produce the affordable housing the city needs. The Wardman’s 1,000 rooms, 290,000 square feet of meeting and commercial space and large green area, all on a 16-acre site, present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jumpstart meeting Mayor Bowser’s affordable housing goals for the ward and the city.”


Members of W3HJ and WHST at the rally


Members of W3HJ and WHST holding signs at the rally


Some 70 rally participants from all eight wards signed a letter to Councilmember Anita Bonds (at-large), Housing Committee chair, urging her to hold public hearings on pending legislation on shortcomings of the HPTF. The more-affordable-housing-at-the- Wardman message was endorsed by ANC Commissioner 3/4G Lisa Gore, an at-large council candidate, who spoke also at the November 20 Wardman rally.


Council At-Large candidate, Lisa Gore, speaking at the rally


The WHST, W3HJ and the affiliated Northwest Opportunity Partners Community Development Corporation have asked CM Cheh to set up a meeting with Carmel Partners for Ward 3 residents interested in affordable housing and city leaders, and our organizations. The meeting is intended to share valuable research gathered to date, and to offer a vision in which up to 500 units of mixed income affordable housing could be built.


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