WASHINGTON, D.C.—December 14, 2021—The nonprofit Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC) has acquired Huntwood Courts, its first property in Washington, DC, rapidly moving closer to its initial goal to acquire, preserve, and manage 3,000 affordable rental homes and open greater opportunity for individuals and families in inclusive mixed-income communities. WHC’s $25 million acquisition of the 214-unit apartment community at 5000 Hunt Street NE expands WHC’s portfolio to three affordable apartment properties, all acquired within one year, in the nation’s capital and the Virginia and Maryland suburbs.
“With this acquisition in the District, we are making tremendous progress in our mission to push back against the headwinds of housing inequity and rapidly escalating rents that so many Washington area residents face. Preserving these affordable homes in areas like Deanwood that are ripe for redevelopment makes a difference to middle-income earners like first responders, healthcare professionals, and teachers so that they are able to find and stay in homes they can afford and envision a more promising future,” said Kimberly Driggins, executive director of WHC.
The seven buildings at Huntwood Courts were built in 1951 and benefited from a significant rehabilitation before being placed in service in 2001 under the Section 42 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Under LIHTC, 80% of the units at Huntwood Courts are reserved for residents making no more than 60% of average median income (AMI). The remaining 20% are market rate. WHC is committed to long-term affordability and this purchase guarantees affordability through 2036.
WHC purchased Huntwood Courts through an innovative financing model that includes a bridge financing and a mezzanine loan from Washington Housing Initiative’s Impact Pool, a private fund that provides investment capital to WHC to acquire properties.
“With the acquisition of Huntwood Courts, JBG SMITH’s Impact Pool has helped the Washington Housing Conservancy to preserve housing in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC – the three jurisdictions it has pledged its commitment to,” said AJ Jackson, EVP of Social Impact Investing at JBG SMITH. “We hope this unique approach will continue to act as a model for other private, public, and nonprofit organizations to work together toward the creation and preservation of affordable housing.”
Under WHC ownership and JBG SMITH’s property management, residents of Huntwood Courts will see stabilized rents and benefit from the WHC core commitments to advance equity, justice, and inclusivity, especially for African Americans and other people of color. Residents in WHC communities experience these core characteristics:
- Participatory and creative placemaking strategies that foster new opportunities to enrich the community quality of life and create places where people thrive and want to be.
- Property managers are trained, supported, and held accountable in maximizing resident choice and voice, while prioritizing respect, support, and engagement.
- Technological upgrades enable residents to make critical connections with knowledge, resources, and each other.
- Social impact amenities create an enriching, wellness-focused and vibrant community with services that may encompass affordable childcare, healthy foods access, and career development.
The acquisition of Huntwood Courts follows WHC’s $39.5 million purchase of the 245-unit Hamilton Manor at 3342 Lancer Drive in Hyattsville, Maryland. WHC’s Hamilton Manor joint venture with National Housing Trust Communities was made possible through the Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Right of First Refusal (ROFR) Program. The ROFR allows DHCD to exercise first refusal rights to expand the availability of affordable rental housing through the purchase of multi-family properties.
The first WHC purchase was completed in December 2020. The acquisition of Crystal House in Arlington County, Virginia was made possible with financial support from Amazon and provides for the preservation and creation of 1,300 affordable units near Amazon’s second headquarters for 99 years.
Preserving housing affordability and promoting economic mobility in the DC-region
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