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Several D.C. government agencies have closed a deal that will preserve 220 affordable housing units at the vacant Parkway Overlook Apartments in the Ward 8 neighborhood of Congress Heights.

The DC Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) provided more than $38 million in bond financing for the project, as well as an estimated $29.6 million in equity raised through an offering of 4 percent of low-income housing tax credits.

The project, for which the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) provided $20.1 million in financing through the Housing Production Trust Fund, will consist mostly of family-sized units, will also provide workforce development training to residents and energy savings through the installation of solar panels.

“This deal is another innovative way that DC Housing Authority works with local partners to support its mission of maintaining and creating new affordable housing options to the people of the District,” said the housing authority’s Executive Director Tyrone Garrett. “DCHA is self-developing the property and we are excited to bring new life to these blighted buildings. … Soon we will welcome back some former households of the Parkway Overlook community, as well as many other new families.”

The $82.2 million rehabilitation of the long-vacant complex near the Congress Heights Metro station and St. Elizabeth’s East Campus will include units affordable to households earning up to 50 percent of the area median income, or about $55,150 for a family of four. Eleven units will be available for households at or below $33,090 and will be set aside as permanent supportive housing.

The units will be comprised of 53 one-bedroom, 108 two-bedroom and 59 three-bedroom apartments. All two- and three-bedroom units will include a second bathroom, according to plans. The project also includes 13 handicapped accessible units.

Training and classes in workforce development, financial literacy and after-school activities will be offered, based on community needs.

“Providing affordable housing for both individuals and families is an important goal for our agency; therefore, we are pleased that the Housing Production Trust Fund is helping to finance a project that consists of mostly two and three-bedroom units,” said DHCD Director Polly Donaldson. “As a result, more families will have safe and affordable housing in the District, as well as community services that support their needs.”

DCHFA Executive Director Todd Lee said the preservation of existing affordable housing is as vital as the creation of new affordable housing.

“Through Mayor [Muriel] Bowser’s leadership and commitment to affordable housing, as well as the tremendous efforts made by the D.C. Housing Authority and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, the apartments at Parkway Overlook will be transformed into modern units with amenities onsite,” Lee said. “D.C. Housing Finance Agency’s financing of the rehabilitation of Parkway Overlook Apartments is an investment in the hundreds of families that will once again call this community home. Returning this apartment community to vibrancy is an interagency effort in which DCHFA is thrilled to have played an integral role.”

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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