Lincoln Heights: Updates

Human Capital Partner Higher Achievement to receive Validation Grant from U.S. Department of Education

Last week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the highest rated applications for the prestigious Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition. Higher Achievement, a New Communities  human capital grantee, was among the top applications and will receive a “Validation Grant” of nearly $12 million over five years for expansion within their four affiliates (Baltimore, DC Metro, Pittsburgh, and Richmond). This success is a significant accomplishment for Higher Achievement, and the success is a testament to the quality of the program,  the hard work of the staff and board, and most importantly the student scholars who participate in the program. New Communities is a proud supporter  of Higher Achievement, which has several programs serving student scholars in the Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwellings neighborhoods.

“Of course this type of milestone would not have been possible without supporters like ODMPED and the New Communities Initiative. Thanks for helping us further our mission and reach more students than ever before.” –Emerald Stewart, Grants Manager, Higher Achievement.

Receiving the i3 grant is one of the highest honors in the education field. Of note, over 400 organizations applied this year and only three were awarded the Validation level grant.

To get involved, and for more information on Higher Achievements program, please contact


Policy Advisory Report Released

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

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

New Communities Releases Interactive Maps of NCI Neighborhoods

The New Communities website now features interactive maps for each of the four NCI neighborhoods. Viewers can select maps for each neighborhood, which include separate categories that highlight the existing housing in the neighborhood, redevelopment to date, public amenities that have been created through NCI, and plans for future development activity.  Links for each neighborhood can be found on the homepage, as well as each neighborhood page, and can also be accessed here:

New Communities Releases 2014 Annual Report

The DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development is pleased to share with you its 2014 Annual Report for New Communities. The Annual Report provides an overview and background on the Initiative, and highlights overall progress to date. Additionally, the report provides project updates on each of the four neighborhoods, and offers a preview for the year ahead.

New Communities seeks to create 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. To date, the Initiative has produced over 1,000 new housing units with an investment of gap financing of over $66million, created over 250 new jobs, and served over 500 heads of households through case managementservice annually. The Initiaitve has also produced new community anchors, such as the new HD Woodson High School in Lincoln Heights, or the new flagship Recreation Center under construction in Barry Farm. This past year, New Communities has seen much progress, with the continued build out of Sheridan Station in Barry Farm, the construction of SeVerna Phase II and 2 M Street in Northwest One, and the successful opening and leasing up of the Nannie Helen at 4800 in Lincoln Heights.

$1 Million Investment to Restore the Historic Strand Theatre for Future Development

image of the Strand TheatreEarlier this month, the District began restoration of the historic Strand Theatre. Located in the heart of Lincoln Heights off of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, the landmark theatre has been vacant for over 50 years. The stabilization is being funded by the The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, in partnership with Great Streets and the DC Department of General Services. Mayor Gray spoke to the significance of this redevelopment project in his 2014 State of the District Address:

“We’re laying the groundwork for future development all over the city, and especially right here in Ward 7. Just last month, the District began restoration of the historic Strand Theater – which has been closed since 1959. Think about that, folks – this community asset has been closed so long that a tree was literally growing through the roof of the building. My administration has committed to the revitalization and repurposing of this property in order to better serve the needs of Ward 7 residents. The District’s investment in the Strand Theater will not only create new retail opportunities, but it will also improve the streetscape and stimulate additional development nearby.”

The restoration of the Strand will also be a focus of the upcoming Start It In 7: Ward 7 Entrepreneurship Week March 17th-March 21st, coordinated by the DC Office of Planning. The week-long schedule of events will include activities, tours, and workshops for business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, artists, retailers, investors, and residents interested in the economic potential of Ward 7. To learn more about the Strand Theatre, CLICK HERE.

DC Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Approves Application for Lincoln Heights Demolition

The Lincoln Heights property includes 440 units of public housing, targeted for demolition as part of the New Communities Initiative. The property is owned and managed by the DC Housing Authority. To demolish public housing properties, the DC Housing Authority must have approval from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At its December 2013 Board of Commissioners meeting, the DC Housing Authority approved a resolution to submit the demolition application for Lincoln Heights to HUD. The application will be submitted by the DC Housing Authority in the first quarter of 2014.

Lincoln Heights Back-to-School Carnival

DayBreak, Inc. a long-time provider of youth development in Lincoln Heights, sponsored its annual Back-to-School Carnival in Marvin Gaye Park, (located within walking distance of Lincoln Heights).  Over 400 attendees enjoyed carnival rides and games.  Children and youth received backpacks, folders, notebooks, pens, pencils and other needed supplies for school.  Food was provided and local talent performed.  In exchange for school supplies, attendees were required to spend a few minutes at booths offering information on health, wellness and safety.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray Celebrates with Residents at Lincoln Heights Community Day

Mayor Vincent C. Gray joined residents for this annual event featuring local talent, including choreographed dance routines and recited poetry.  Resident leaders and service providers were recognized for their dedicated work in the community. DC Housing Authority Executive Director Adrienne Todman was among special guests were in attendance.

Mayor Gray and Deputy Mayor Hoskins Cut Ribbon on The Nannie Helen at 4800

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins were joined by Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, other Councilmembers and dignitaries to ceremonially cut the ribbon on The Nannie Helen at 4800. The Nannie Helen at 4800 is a mixed-use
development that consists of 70 units of affordable housing, including 23 replacement units with a priority for Lincoln Heights and Richardson Dwelling residents. The development includes 1,800 square feet of retail space, a fitness center, community room and outdoor playground. Click HERE to read the full press release.

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