The future of Chinatown’s Wah Luck Apartments was unknown in 2014 with worries about the owner eventually converting the Section 8 building into pricey market-rate units. Thanks to the D.C. Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA), the residents were able to acquire the building, but the good news doesn’t end there. Two weeks ago, the District of Columbia’s Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA) closed on a $39 million investment that will preserve and rehabilitate the building.
According to a press release, the 10-story, 153-unit building’s rehabilitation will also be funded with $24 million in low income housing tax credit equity through an investment by Wells Fargo.
The DCHFA does not expect any residents to be displaced during the renovation process, done in partnership with the National Foundation for Affordable Housing Solutions, Inc. Tenants will be provided fully-furnished “hospitality suites” when work is performed in the units.
The rehabilitation will consist of the roof being replaced and the first floor layout being reconfigured in order to include a doctor’s clinic and a business center. The community restrooms will also be expanded in order to feature a bathing and shower room. Other renovations will be done to the management office and security room as well as the kitchens and bathrooms in each individual unit.
Wah Luck Apartments was constructed at 800 6th Street NW in 1982 for the elderly. The units are offered to those who make up to 60 percent of area median income. 100 percent of the units are occupied, according to a press release.