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 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.
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.
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.
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: