Former Hebrew Home HPRB Hearing Tomorrow — DGS Schedules Surplus Hearing

The Hebrew Home for the Aged, 1125 Spring Rd., NW.

The Hebrew Home for the Aged, 1125 Spring Rd., NW.

For those interested in the future of the former Hebrew Home for the Aged — located at 1125 Spring Road — the Historic Preservation Review Board will be considering the landmark nomination for the building tomorrow morning. It is a relatively straightforward nomination and I don’t expect it to be controversial. In evaluating the merits of the nomination, the Historic Preservation Office issued a favorable staff report in advance of the hearing.

In addition to the landmark aspect of the building, the DC Housing Authority is in the early stages of developing a plan that would 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 that.

The District is moving forward with that process, as I’ve been notified by the Department of General Services (DGS) that there will be a public meeting on June 17th to discuss surplussing the property (see flyer below). In following up with DGS, they confirmed that they are intending to designate the building as “Surplus”, after which the building can go through a disposition process. This would allow the building to be developed as part of the public-private development with DCHA. It is important to note that this process will need to go before the DC Council for approval.

1125 Surplus Resolution

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15 Comments on “Former Hebrew Home HPRB Hearing Tomorrow — DGS Schedules Surplus Hearing”

  1. JS Says:

    I do not understand why DCHA thinks that a 100% affordable building is a good idea despite all the historical evidence to the contrary. An 70/30 market/subsidized building seems like a much better idea.

  2. Angry Parakeet Says:

    Kent, question: If this is affordable housing intended for working lower income people, can/will the units be rented to non-working tenants who simply pay with housing vouchers, in effect filling it with welfare recipients?

    • Kent Says:

      As described to me (and this is still very early in the process), they’re talking workforce housing for people with incomes up to $60,000 / year.

  3. mbk Says:

    Kent will you please clarify your stance on this project becoming 100% low income? I thought there was a lot of objection from community members but in the Park View newsletter you indicated that you not heard much objection. I think a 100% low income building is not good for the community at all. Even if its developed as a public/private partnership with DCHA it will essentially be a DCHA property. Every case study nationwide shows that concentrating the lowest incomes in one building is a disaster. This is why cities all across the Country are trying to redevelop their public housing into mixed income communities. Typically at 3 market rate units to 1 subsidized units. Between this, the Avenue which is also 100% low income and the complete stalling of Park Morton, I just don’t think Park View is headed in a positive direction. And the shooting last night at Park Morton (which i read on prince of petworth may have inlcuded a child getting shot)-I think we just need to be more forceful on we want to grow as a community.

    • JM Says:

      Absolutely on target.

      I’m also unclear about how to proceed to stop this bad idea. First, what exactly is the Council voting on? Surplussing the property? Agreeing to the DCHA low-income housing plan? Both?

      In theory, the Council should be our recourse, but consider the politics. The Hebrew Home is actually in Ward 4, and Muriel Bowser is (a) poor on constituent service (b) too busy running for Mayor. It’s just across the street from Ward 1. But Jim Graham is on record as thinking that Park Morton is a real success story. And he’s a lame duck. I doubt he’ll lift a finger to help. Brianne Nadeau is running for election – but will she be willing to alienate the poverty advocates to oppose this? I’m wondering if our best bet isn’t to contact David Grosso’s office to set up a meeting.

      I too would like to hear an opinion from Kent on this issue.

    • Kent Says:

      Thus far, no one, including DCHA, has ever described this as a 100% low income project to me. There are still a lot of steps in the process, including public meetings and hearings. I hope everyone will come out and participate so that what this ends up being is a good fit for the community.

      • hma Says:

        I went to the ANC4 meeting last week where DCHA presented the plan and they said the current plan is 100% affordable housing.

  4. Brian Says:

    This month the DC Government stripped millions of dollars promised away from the schools in the Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods.

    The neighborhood schools are over capacity and desperate need for repairs! The projected enrollments will also increase the most in the city over the next 10 years. We create the low-income housing just to send the kids to overcapacity schools perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

    How about selling this land to a developer and investing that money in our schools and kids? This should cover the money the government promised and then took away from the neighborhood schools.

    Ideally, we should be creating low income housing in the neighborhoods with the best DC Public Schools not in an area where 7 y/os are getting shot on neighborhood playgrounds (last night).

  5. jcm Says:

    I don’t understand why they are doing this separately from Park Morton. Park Morton needs more space for a mixed-income re-development. Here is more space, less than half a mile away. And yet DCHA appears to have no interest in putting the two together. Am I missing something?

  6. mbk Says:

    JCM-you aren’t missing anything. DCHA has no idea what they are doing. They need to take out the GA ave properties that were orginally part of the New Communities and just focus on residential on the existing property. They should get credit for the residents they moved to the Avenue as “replacement units”–and not feel boxed into rebuilding the exact number of units within the existing foot print.

  7. K Says:

    I think there is a fair amount of objection to this UNLESS it offers replacement units for PM. Even if that happens it is idiotic to think 100% subsidized is somehow a good idea.

  8. Annie Says:

    No affordable housing! I will fight this hard! Too close to a school, too close to the restaurants on 11th St plus this is a historic building! There was just a shooting at Park Morton? Do we really need another project??

  9. dceconomicrefugee Says:

    Affordable housing is great, the way DC govt. does it is not. “Projects” are cesspools for criminal activities. I left the District because of about three affordable housing projects closest to me in Columbia Heights, and the trouble they bring. I know one day the city will come to its sense but life is too short. I packed up rather than wait for that decade or 15 years to pass before sanity kicks in and affordable housing is done in mixed-use fashion, and tenants on vouchers are held accountable (ie: not allowed to stay and terrorize their community on the taxpayers dime). It could happen sooner, and very well may, if enough residents voice their dissent to the foolishness of projects, and of course, if enough of the voters do, as well. Before I left the DC electorate, I helped kick out Jim Graham, that was a start for sure!

  10. […] Spring Road will be tomorrow evening at the Petworth Library (see announcement below). I know many residents have taken an active interest in the future of the former Hebrew Home, and hope to see a good turn out tomorrow. This is a great […]

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