A rendering of H.R. Crawford Gardens in Washington, D.C. Image courtesy of Soto Architecture & Urban Design

The District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency has provided $51.3 million in financing for the construction of a new $52 million, 76-unit development for seniors, grandfamilies and tenants who previously experienced homelessness.

H.R. Crawford Gardens is a six-story building that will be located at 737 50th St. NE in Washington’s Ward 7. Manna Inc., Mutreja Development, MED Developers and CRP Affordable Housing and Community Development are working together to bring the project online.

DCHFA issued $25.9 million in tax-exempt bonds and underwrote $21.4 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity and $4 million in district LIHTC equity for the new community. Through its Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investment and Capital Markets divisions, DCHFA issues tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds to lower developers’ costs of acquiring, constructing and rehabilitating rental housing. The agency offers private for-profit and non-profit developers low-cost predevelopment, construction and permanent financing that supports the new construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in the District of  Columbia.

The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development is providing a $15.7 million loan from the Housing Production Trust Fund for the project.

H.R. Crawford Gardens will be the second grandfamily housing community in D.C. Plaza West, which opened in 2018 in Ward 6, was the first affordable grandfamily development. DCHFA provided $44.1 million in tax exempt bond financing for that project.

Christopher Donald, executive director & CEO of DCHFA said in a prepared statement there is a great and growing need for senior housing in D.C. He said the agency’s investment addresses that issue as well as the unique needs of grandfamilies, families with children that have grandparents in the home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 report on America’s Families and Living Arrangements, there are 7.5 million children living in households with grandparents.

New development details

Income restrictions for residents at H.R. Crawford Gardens will be 30 percent and 50 percent of Area Median Income or less. The property will have 53 one-bedroom and 23 three-bedroom units. Twelve units will be fully accessible. Fifteen units will be designated Permanent Supportive Housing units that will operate with local rent supplement program subsidies from the D.C. Housing Authority. All the one-bedroom apartments will be reserved for seniors. Fifteen three-bedroom apartments will be reserved for families in need of permanent supportive housing at 30 percent of AMI. One of the three-bedroom units will be reserved for a senior resident in need of permanent supportive housing. The remaining seven three-bedroom units will house grandfamily residents. The grandfamily program at H.R. Crawford Gardens will be managed by the United Planning Organization.

The mid-rise building will be designed and constructed to meet Enterprise Green Communities 2020 standards, Passive House, EPA Energy Star, EPA Indoor Air Plus and DOE Zero Energy Home standards.

Amenities will include a green roof, leasing office, ground-floor community  room, fitness center, outdoor terrace and on-site permanent supportive housing management office. The property will have 14 surface parking spaces and will be within walking distance of Marvin Gaye Park, HD Woodson High School Aquatic Center and the Watts Branch Recreation Center.

Recent DCHFA deals

In August, DCHFA provided financing for Enterprise Community Development to renovate two affordable housing communities in D.C. with a total of 300 units. The company secured $54.7 million in tax exempt bonds from DCHFA to upgrade Edgewood 611 Apartments and Edgewood Gardens Apartments.

Earlier that month, DCHFA issued a combined total of $104.2 million in tax-exempt bonds and underwrote $81.4 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit for two affordable housing projects totaling nearly 700 units of affordable housing in two neighborhoods. In one transaction, the agency provided funds to preserve and upgrade existing units, while a second financing provided funds backing the second phase of a mixed-income, mixed-use development.

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