Development Proposed for Former Hebrew Home, 1125 Spring Road NW

The District of Columbia Housing Authority is currently working on a development concept to breath new life into the vacant Hebrew Home for the Aged building — located at 1125 Spring Road. While the Hebrew Home campus includes the buildings at 1125 Spring Road and 1131 Spring Road, the Housing Authority is only focused on the large central building at this time.

As part of the public outreach process for this concept, D.C. Housing Authority’s Alastair Smith, Development Project Manager, attended the April 9th ANC 1A meeting and gave an overview of the current plan. The dual purpose of the presentation was to gather community input for consideration. As the property is located on the Ward 4 side of Spring Road, the D.C. Housing authority is planning to make a similar presentation before ANC 4C at their May 14th meeting. This provides another opportunity for community participation at this stage of the proposal.

Hebrew Home(Partial view of the former Hebrew Home, looking north from 10th Street, NW)

The plan as presented is to renovate the building for affordable/workforce housing. The current estimate is that it could support between 70 and 80 units in a variety of sizes. In this case, affordability was described as being up to 60% AMI (Area Median Income) at the high-end, but with units being available at many income levels and not just at the 60% level. According to current AMI data, this would put the 60% figure around $63,000 at this time. The plan is also to create a property that is privately owned and managed.

As indicated above, this proposal is very early in the process. The D.C. Housing authority is currently working with engineers and architects to fine tune a plan. The property is also owned by the District of Columbia which once used the facility as a behavioral and mental health care facility. Before the D.C. Housing Authority could move forward with any project, the D.C. Council would need to review and approve the transfer of control to the D.C. Housing authority. Optimistically, the timeline would be for all of the necessary plans and approvals to be completed in 2014, a start date in 2015, and a completion 18 months later in 2016/2017.

Among the comments the D.C. Housing Authority received from the community & 1A Commissioners was that the AMI for the Washington Metro Area was much higher than the AMI for the District of Columbia alone, and that to truly make the building affordable for District residents this should be taken into account. Also, the residential character of the surrounding neighborhood, with a neighboring school and recreation center/playground could make the building attractive to families, so it would be desirable to have units that could support more than a single couple without children. These comments, and others, seemed to be received favorable.

The ANC invited the D.C. Housing Authority to return to future meetings and provide updates on the project as the proposal moves forward, which the Authority agreed to do.


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19 Comments on “Development Proposed for Former Hebrew Home, 1125 Spring Road NW”

  1. JS Says:

    Ken –

    Buildings that consist entirely of single-income levels don’t have a great track record; it’s generally accepted that a mix of incomes in a building is more desirable. Having said that, could some type of proposal that features affordable 2/3BR for families and a combination of market rate 1 BR and studios work?

  2. mbk Says:

    Any building with 100% affordability is problematic. Unfortunately as it will be be a public housing building, I don’t think they will have much leverage for any market rate based on the financing they will use. The City is trying to move away from 100% public housing sites (eg Park Morton, Barry Farm) so its frustrating to see them doing 100% public housing at this location.

  3. Tom M Says:

    So they are going to build a public housing project a block away from a school and in an area heavily trafficked by school children and families? You can be damned sure, I’ll be opposing. No 100% affordable housing unit in the city has ever lead to things other than drugs, and assaults. Horrible idea.

  4. JM Says:

    Bad, bad idea. We have enough trouble with Park Morton – why would 100% affordable housing on Spring Rd be seen as a good idea? Looks like Brianne Nadeau will have her first challenge as Councilmember. I will definitely be fighting this one.

  5. jcm Says:

    Why aren’t they planning this is conjunction with the park Morton redevelopment? You reported that the city needed more land to finish the park Morton project, and here is more city owned land. Why not make this a part of the mixed income Hope VI project?

  6. […] Housing Authority hopes to bring affordable housing to Hebrew Home on Spring Road NW. [Park View D.C.] […]

  7. […] DCHA considers affordable housing for former Hebrew Home (Park View D.C.) […]

  8. Rebecca Says:

    Blogger mentions another presentation a the ANC 4C May 14th meeting but doesn’t provide a location. Could someone please provide? Thanks!

  9. […] Housing Authority hopes to bring affordable housing to Hebrew Home on Spring Road NW. [Park View D.C.] […]

  10. HousingIsAHumanRight Says:

    60% AMI and privately managed is NOT public housing and is NOT affordable! Our city has plenty of market rate and high rent housing – we NEED truly affordable housing where people pay 30% of their income. I support this being developed in that model.

  11. Rebecca Says:

    I absolutely oppose this proposal. I recognize the need for affordable housing, but this is not the answer. It should be a smaller portion offered at the 60% AMI, with the majority of the units being sold at market rate. This keeps the property from becoming a “housing project” by mixing the type of residents. If the majority of the residents are made up of those in need of affordable housing the sad reality is that the building will become a haven for crime, trash and disrepair. Only a mixed solution works, with the higher percentage (80%) going at a market rate.

  12. No thanks Says:

    No. Simply, no. Our single member district already houses Green Door (on Spring Rd), Offender Services (on Taylor) and the only Welfare center in NW DC. When I say NIMBY, it’s because my backyard is already full of public services that homeowners aren’t generally thrilled with. No more. This has amazing commercial potential near one of the most thriving neighborhoods in DC. This is the wrong use.

  13. […] convert the property into affordable housing with 60% AMI at the upper end. I’ve previously posted my notes from their presentation at the April ANC 1A meeting for anyone who wants to read up on […]

  14. […] essence, and as I’ve written before, the proposed direction the District is going is to investigate redeveloping the historic structure […]

  15. Mister Goat Says:

    Wow. Reading the comments here makes me so ashamed of my neighbors. The fear of poor people, and the nasty, bigoted association of affordable housing with crime, the short-sighted NIMBYism–it’s simply shameful.

    I live in Ward 1. People are being priced out regularly. Tenants in a building two blocks from me face eviction because the landlord wants (and has received preliminary approval) to raise rents 31.3%. And you’re opposing the use of a publicly owned building to meet basic public needs? What’s the matter with you?

  16. JT Says:

    Mister Goat: So where, precisely, do you live in Ward 1? Do you live with 100 feet of Columbia Heights Village, the LIHTC development at 14th and Irving, which is exactly the same model proposed for the former Hebrew Home? Would you want that kind of development erected a stone’s throw from your front door? Would you choose to move 100 feet from that development?

    It’s all great to be such a philanthropist until you realize that high density 100% low-income housing doesn’t solve problems, it creates new ones. This is well understood. The neighbors you are ashamed of want to help people too, but we favor more, smaller projects with mixed-income levels, as most people who actually have studied this issue over time understand creates sustainable communities, not concentrations of poverty.

  17. Concerned4COHI Says:

    Did anyone go to Muriel Bowser’s community meeting last night? Why did she allow 30+ minutes of racist rants by black residents pointing fingers (literally) at others in the room saying “we all know it, you don’t want us here…” One poor guy who stood up and mentioned how he had worked hard on his home in Ward 1 and revitalized it from a crack house received an onslaught on bigoted comments like “go back to where you came from.”

    It was ridiculous that Bowser allowed that. If Bowser’s slogan is #all8wards then why isn’t she standing up agains’t such divisive comments and showing some integrity?

    I’m not sure that’s the kind of mayor we want.

  18. Karen Grant Says:

    Hello: if the government is going to help signal men and women with jobs that are homeless that seem like a great plan.
    I wanted to know who own this Building to asked for help to help peoples like myself that work 75.50hr. every two weeks and bring home after tax $590 dollars where Am I going to stay at for $590 dollar and I pray that our mayor find it in her heart to take a another look at park Morton and berry farms if the rich peoples of color have not notice there are too many hard work women and men homeless by forces

    open our Eyes

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