New Development Adds More “Justice Housing” in the District
Washington, D.C.—July 31, 2017—While they differed on whether the celebration was six or seven years in the making, all those assembled to launch the renovation of Jubilee Housing’s Maycroft Apartments agreed that creating more justice housing in D.C. was well worth the wait.
Jim Knight, Jubilee executive director and president, told an audience of city officials, community residents, financing partners, nonprofit leaders, and members of the Jubilee team that getting to the groundbreaking ceremony had “tested our collective resolve in remarkable ways” but the need for more justice housing in the city had kept them going.
He said justice housing is “affordable to those who need it most. It comes with opportunities that enable us all to thrive. And, it’s in a resource-rich neighborhood. Shouldn’t everybody live in resource-rich neighborhoods,” he asked the standing-room-only audience of more than 100 people—to hearty applause.
“This is my home. I’m coming back here after it’s remodeled,” said an excited Phillip Brooks, vice president of the Tenant Association, who helped M.C. the event and thank the multitude of organizations and individuals behind preserving the Maycroft.
As head of one of those organizations, Todd Lee, executive director of the D.C. Housing Finance Agency, commended “Jubilee Housing for sticking to it and bringing together all the resources and partners required to pull off a project like this.”
The revitalized Maycroft will provide justice housing for 64 vulnerable D.C. families. Forty-one of those families will be earning at or below 30 percent of the area median income, including 15 families leaving chronic homelessness. Importantly, the preserved building also will contribute to a more equitable and vibrant city for all District residents.
Polly Donaldson, director of the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, said justice housing is vital to achieving Mayor Muriel Bowser’s goal of “inclusive prosperity” for District residents. “I speak on behalf of Mayor Bowser, who knows how critical this project is for Ward 1,” Donaldson said.
Donaldson described D.C. as a prosperous community, one that must insist on resources remaining available for all. “Vulnerable families, families on the verge of making it, and families making it. That’s what we want this community to be about,” she said.
Unfortunately, said Nathan Bovelle, interim executive director of the D.C. Housing Authority, “many people who grew up in D.C. can no longer afford to live here…whether they’re homeowners or renters—but especially if they’re renters.”
To help address that problem, forty units at the new Maycroft will be available next fall at rents between $600 and $700, which is affordable on an hourly wage of $11, according to Knight. In addition, when the Maycroft reopens, residents as well as their Northwest D.C. neighbors with low incomes will be able to take advantage of new opportunities on the building’s ground floor.
There Jubilee will host its Teen Renaissance Program, which helps enhance academic achievement, develop character, and build leadership skills. Jubilee also will open at the Maycroft a Family Resource Center, where parents and youth can find support for life goals that span the continuum from childrearing to career accomplishment. Plus, residents leaving chronic homelessness will find services to help them achieve stable, productive lives.
Meanwhile, Martha’s Table will offer three of its community services on the Maycroft’s ground level: Healthy Start, an early childhood education program that prepares young children for kindergarten; McKenna’s Wagon, a mobile food truck that feeds homeless and hungry individuals at three downtown D.C. locations; and a Lobby Market where families can shop for healthy food at no cost.
“We are thrilled to be able to co-locate in this beautiful space with Jubilee, whose mission so closely aligns with ours—starting with that word ‘justice,’” said Patty Stonesifer. “This will be a place where children and parents can thrive.”
Referencing a verse on childbearing from the Bible, Jim Dickerson, president and CEO of Manna, Inc., likened the effort to launch the Maycroft renovations to “a long pregnancy and difficult birth. But we’re overjoyed today,” he said. “This is the beginning of a new stage in the journey to help make the Maycroft dream come true.”
“Shame on the people who tried to hold up this project,” said Ward 1 Council Member Brianne Nadeau. “I hope those people are taking note that we will not accept that in our community.”
Joseph LeMense, managing director of community development and nonprofit banking at United Bank, a funding partner in the project, attributed Jubilee’s ultimate success with the Maycroft to “patience, persistence, passion, professionalism, and prayer. We knew Jubilee had always found a way to get things done, and we were confident in that,” he said.
Even then, as Steve Glaude, president and CEO of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, reminded the audience, “local community organizations and local government cannot do this alone.” He called on everyone to advocate on behalf of justice housing at the federal level, as well.
Jubilee Board Chair Myra Peabody Gossens closed the event by inviting all the “justice housing warriors” in the audience to gather around for the turning of the ground.
Jubilee wishes to thank the following partners who played pivotal roles in helping Jubilee reach the groundbreaking stage on the Maycroft: Hamel Builders, Inc., Bonstra Haresign Architects, EquityPlus, LLC, ISG, Bend the Arc Fund, Change All Souls Housing Corporation, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, Corporation for Supportive Housing, DC Department of Behavioral Health, DC Department of Health – HASTA, DC Department of Housing and Community Development, DC Housing Finance Agency, DC Housing Authority, Enterprise Community Partners, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Housing Trust Community Development Loan Fund, R4 Capital, United Bank, US Bank, Arnold & Porter, DLA Piper, Eisen & Rome, PC, Goulston & Storrs, Holland & Knight, Klein Hornig, LP, Jones Walker, Pepper Hamilton, Joseph’s House, Martha’s Table, Latino Economic Development Center, William S. Abell Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation, Caldwell Chapel Community, Christ House, A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation, Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, Gepetto Catering, Philip L. Graham Fund, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Open Road Alliance, Porter Family Foundation, TD Bank, United Way, World Bank
# # #
Jubilee Housing builds diverse, compassionate communities that create opportunities for everyone to thrive.
For more information, contact: Fritz Gutwein, Jubilee’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement, at 202-299-1240 or at firstname.lastname@example.org