April 14, 2015 | Press Release

Nadeau Works to Preserve Affordable Housing Project in Columbia Heights - Office of Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau

“This legislation will allow us to preserve 64 units of affordable housing in Columbia Heights, where we have a shrinking number of housing options for working- and middle-class families,” said Councilmember Nadeau. “The creation and preservation of affordable housing options is a top priority for me and for residents of Ward 1. Although I hope not to use emergency legislation as a vehicle on a regular basis, it was important in this case to meet the project’s tight timeline. There will be more hurdles for this project to overcome, but I believe this legislation puts them firmly on a path forward.”

Jubilee is seeking this legislation on an emergency basis because of a tight timeline of availability for approximately $500,000 of tax credit equity subsides. Without these subsidies, the project will not be financially feasible and would risk the loss of much-needed affordable housing in Columbia Heights.

The redevelopment will be financed by the use of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) for the residential component and New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) for the social services component. The NMTC structure requires Jubilee Housing, Inc., rather than a real estate holding company controlled by Jubilee Housing, Inc., to be the owner of the ground floor components: an early childhood education center, after school programming for teenagers and a family resource center; as a result these components fail to qualify for the exemption from the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) requirements that usually accompanies this use.

The Jubilee Maycroft Notice Exemption Amendment will allow the Maycroft project to move forward in the spirit of a TOPA exemption already on the books that assists NMTC deals that are (1) controlled by nonprofits and (2) financing social service delivery space. A creative mixed use project such as Maycroft that preserves affordable housing and provides needed services fits the spirit of the TOPA exemption.

The majority of tenants residing in the building have signed a petition in support of Jubilee’s plans, which was facilitated by the Latino Economic Development Corporation’s tenant purchase counseling experts. Several tenants will pursue TOPA rights through the process in place, which will also have some bearing on the final outcome of this property.

Councilmember Nadeau will work in the coming months to create permanent legislation to formalize exemptions for other projects that meet this standard.

The related legislation is available below:

About Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau

In her many years of service to the community, Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1) has brought perspectives from a career that spans the non-profit, public and private sectors. She is committed to strengthening our schools, increasing affordable housing and promoting government transparency and the highest ethical standards. Prior to joining the Council, she was a strategic advisor to faith-based, Democratic and environmental non-profits, and is a former ANC. Follow her on Twitter @brianneknadeau or at Facebook.com/brianneknadeau.