Najuma Thorpe Public Affairs Specialist DC Department of Housing and Community Development
On October 20 the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development in partnership with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) was awarded $3 million under HUD’s Sustainable Community Challenge Grant program – the maximum award and the largest amount awarded to any single awardee. The Yardstick originally announced our agency’s award a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to provide some more detail on DHCD’s objectives for this funding as our goals align with many Region Forward goals.
DHCD will use this funding to build on major investments in Historic Anacostia by the District and federal governments. Despite its assets Historic Anacostia has struggled for years as a very low income community lacking economic opportunities for its residents.
DHCD will work closely with NCRC the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development DDOT the Office of Planning and other agencies and offices as we move forward. By coordinating and integrating our planning activities we hope to create a truly comprehensive and sustainable approach for this effort.
Although this work will encompass the Congress Heights Anacostia and St. Elizabeths areas an emphasis will be placed on Historic Anacostia ensuring that neighborhood residents benefit from the 11th Street bridge redevelopment the proposed streetcar line in Historic Anacostia and the new federal job center at St. Elizabeths.
Specific outcomes from this effort will include:
1. Sustaining and expanding affordable homeownership and improving low-cost rental options for lower-income and senior households
2. Leveraging public and private investment to develop an economic development implementation plan that strengthens the unique assets of the Historic Anacostia commercial district expands small business development and enhances employment opportunities for and job skills of the area’s current lower-income residents
3. Conducting a community engagement campaign to ensure residents have strong input into and shape the ensuing redevelopment of Historic Anacostia
The narrative for the District’s application entitled “Historic Anacostia Community-Led Comprehensive Redevelopment Plan” is available here.