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
The New Communities Initiative wascreated 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.
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.
“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
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.
Connect.DC, an Initiative of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) is hosting a Twitter Town Hall conversation on civic engagement. The conversation will focus on how technology, such as social media, has impacted civic engagement. All District residents are invited to participate by following the conversation at #civictechDC and @connectdotdc.Connected Communities is a District government initiative and New Communities partner aimed at increasing internet access and use in low-access neighborhoods throughout the District. The Initiative is currently focused on two footprints, one in Ward 7 and one in Ward 8 that includes the Barry Farm community.
Riverside Center (5200 Foote Street, NE, Washington, DC, 20019)
The monthly meeting for Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings will be an opportunity for residents and community members to hear updates about the redevelopment. This meeting will feature an update on the 5201 Hayes project. Click here for the meeting agenda.
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.
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 Grantsbeginning 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 greatstreets.dc.gov 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: