rendering of Barry Farm

The New Communities Initiative is a District of Columbia government program designed to revitalize severely distressed subsidized housing and redevelop neighborhoods into vibrant mixed-income communities. The Initiative includes four neighborhoods in the District of Columbia: Barry Farm / Lincoln Heights – Richardson Dwelling / Northwest One / Park Morton

History of New Communities

The New Communities Initiative was created as a response to federal budget cuts to housing revitalization programs and increasing local pressures to address crime and poverty in District neighborhoods.  


The New Communities Initiative provides public financing to achieve physical redevelopment and access to human capital. This approach leverages private investment in creating healthy communities. New Communities is a collaborative effort that includes residents, government partners, community organizations, advocates, lenders and developers.

Results to Date_slide

 The vision for the New Communities Initiative is for vibrant mixed-income neighborhoods that address both the physical architecture and human capital  needs, where residents have quality affordable housing options, economic opportunities and access to appropriate human services.



g-img01 One for One
One for One

to ensure that there is no net loss of affordable housing units in the neighborhood.

g-img02 The Opportunity
to Return/Stay
The Opportunity
to Return/Stay

in the community to ensure that current residents will have a priority for new replacement units in an effort to remain in their neighborhood.

g-img03 Mixed-Income Housing
Mixed-Income Housing

to end the concentration of low-income housing and poverty.

g-img04 Build First
Build First

which calls for the development of new housing to begin prior to the demolition of existing distressed housing to minimize displacement.

In the summer of 2013, Pleasant would get two phone calls. First, a resumé that she gave to her case manager (Homes for Hope) led to a new job. Then, she learned she could move into a newly constructed development as part of the New Communities Initiative. Today, Pleasant takes advantage of Jazzercise classes in the F.H. Faunteroy Community Enrichment Center, located in the mixed-use complex. 'I moved two blocks, but it feels like I’m a thousand miles away,' Pleasant said.   –Adopted from the January 8th Washington Post article, Kimberly Pleasant, Lincoln Heights resident
Living at Temple Courts has been a struggle and a success in itself, especially being a single mother of two. We lived there for eight years with broken elevators, dark hallways, drugs, and destruction in and around the dwellings.....I will never forget the help received while looking for my first home. We truly appreciate HOU and commend them highly on their dedication to our family and all of the Temple Courts residents. –Angela James, former Temple Courts resident
Bobbi has been an inspiration to her community, her classmates her family and the HOU Case Management Team. She never once allowed her circumstances to determine her destiny. We look forward to more success and continue to encourage her to reach for the stars.  –Housing Opportunities Unlimited, case management team


5:30pm (past event)

Lincoln Heights Land Planner Meeting

  • Family Enhancement Center (400 50th Street, NE)

The New Communities Initiative will be working with Torti Gallas,  an architecture and planning firm that will be the land use planner for Lincoln Heights. Please join members of the planning team, as well as representatives from the DC Housing Authority and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for an introductory meeting.

2:00pm (past event)

2 M Street Ribbon Cutting

  • 2 M Street, NE

Please join WC Smith, The Warrenton Group, and Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for the ribbon cutting of 2 M Street on Wednesday, September 24th, at 2:00pm. The most recent New Communities project to be developed, 2 M Street is an impressive 314 unit rental development with a number of “green” features and amenities for residents to enjoy. True to the principles of New Communities, 2 M Street is a mixed-income project, with 59 units for former residents of Northwest One, and an additional 34 affordable housing units. 

6:30pm (past event)

Barry Farm Zoning Commission Hearing

  • Thursday, September 18th, 2014
  • 6:30pm
  • 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 220-S

The next zoning hearing on Barry Farm will be held on September 18th, 2014. The Zoning Commission Case is No. 14-02: A&R Development, et al. –”Barry Farm”– 1st-Stage PUD @ Squares 5862, 5865, and 5866. The hearing will be limited in scope to the issues raised by the Commission in previous hearing. Click here for the original hearing notice.


Policy Advisory Report Released

Barry Farm, Lincoln Heights, Northwest One, Park Morton

Earlier this year, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development commissioned a team of affordable housing experts, led by Quadel Consulting,  to examine the New Communities Initiative (NCI) and make recommendations to enhance the program. The final report provides analysis on key lessons learned since the development of NCI, as well as the challenges, opportunities, and solutions to facilitate successful implementation.


Great Streets Notice of Funding Availability: Small Business Capital Improvement Grants

Barry Farm, Lincoln Heights, Park Morton

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) invites the submission of applications for the Great Streets Small Business Capital Improvement Grants beginning on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th, 2014. DMPED will award individual grants of up to a maximum of $85,000 for small business owners to improve their place of business. The grant application will be available on the Great Streets website at beginning on September 9th.

The Great Streets Initiative began in 2006, the same time the New Communities Initiative was established by former Mayor Anthony Williams.  Great Streets is a commercial revitalization initiative to transform emerging corridors throughout the District of Columbia into thriving and inviting neighborhood centers. Three New Communities neighborhoods are located near a Great Streets Corridor:

  • Georgia Avenue in Park Morton
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue in Barry Farm
  • Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue in Lincoln Heights

Affordable Housing News

>DC Department of Housing and Community Development issues Request for Applications for the Enhanced Affordable Housing Services Initiative.

>DC officials report the District is halfway to affordable housing goal of 10,000 units by 2020. Click here to view the data.

>The Community Foundation for National Capital Region releases Housing Security in the Washington Region, a research study conducted by the Urban Institute and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments which examines gaps in affordable housing across income levels in the Washington, DC region. 

> The Department of Housing & Urban Development awarded a combined $119.7 million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants to the cities of Norwalk, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Columbus to redevelop distressed housing projects.

Contact New Communities

NCI Community Maps