Ward 3 Affordable Housing Activists Form Community Development Corporation
Updated: Aug 10, 2021
Ward 3 Housing Justice | Wardman Hotel Strategy Team
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 2, 2021
NW Opportunity Partners CDC Contact: Meg Maguire, 202-546-4536, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Gail Sonnemann, 202-286-0845, email@example.com
Ward 3 housing activists have formed NW Opportunity Partners (NWOP-CDC), a Community Development Corporation (CDC), to bring affordable housing, greater economic mobility and racial diversity to DC's Ward 3 and Rock Creek West. The new CDC is an outgrowth of Mayor Bowser's call to build 1,990 affordable units in this area by 2025. “We embrace the mayor’s goals and see that current tools and policies like IZ will never get us there. We call for bold, visionary action. Converting the Wardman to mixed income affordable housing would enable us to meet 25% of the mayor’s goal all at once,” said Margaret Dwyer, convener of Ward 3 Housing Justice. “The CDC’s initial focus is to convince Mayor Bowser to strike an innovative deal with
Carmel Partners, the new owners of the Wardman, to create a mixed-income, mixed-ownership project of both rental units and limited-equity cooperatives, revenue-producing small businesses, job training facilities and social services, space for community and recreation activities, and classrooms for the nearby elementary school,” said Meg Maguire, Chair of the CDC. “We also see great potential in Friendship Heights to promote new models of affordable housing with new partners and robust city investment.” Moving beyond talking and lobbying, over the last six months advocates have reached out to local and national affordable housing and market rate real estate developers, planners and architects to create a vision and to explore possible partnerships to convert the Wardman. An architectural concept study demonstrated the feasibility of converting the hotel to housing with approximately five hundred (500) mixed income affordable units, many of which would be family-sized, along with community-enhancing amenities and commercial uses. “When Mayor Bowser and the City Council see what a once-in a-lifetime opportunity the Wardman can still be, we believe she will pick up the phone and make a fiscally responsible deal for the Wardman,” said William Jordan, a leader of the Wardman Hotel Strategy Team.
"We are ready to partner with the city, with developers, and with the community to move beyond the rhetoric of affordable housing and make it happen,” said Carol Aten, a Board Member of the new CDC.
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