This summer, demolition work is expected to begin on a dilapidated residential development, known as Barry Farm, which will effectively displace over 500 residents in the low-income, Southeast neighborhood. Worry over displacement has caused the tenants to reunite in public meetings, which The Washington Post has described as “disorderly.”
At the most recent meeting at the Excel Academy Public Charter School, developers discussed the New Communities Initiative, which hopes to “revitalize severely distressed subsidized housing and redevelop neighborhoods into vibrant mixed-income communities,” according to the official website. Part of this initiative is to redevelop Barry Farm, which dates back to WWII.
The initiative was created in 2005, and since then, little progress has been made due to financing gaps and unpredictable changes in the real estate market, according to The Washington Post.
In the recent meeting, residents expressed concern over the possibility of the project grinding to a halt. One resident told the project manager, “We want you to know, as residents, we want to stay here in Barry Farm,” but Angie Rodgers, who manages the initiative in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, said that the number of residents who oppose the plan are in the minority.
The planned complex that will replace Barry Farm will house 1,400 residential units with 344 designated for public housing tenants. The first phase of the project is expected to open in 2020 and complete in 2022 with approximately 550 units.
• D.C. public housing residents are angry they will now be forced to move for redevelopment [The Washington Post]