Four vacant, abandoned homes in Anacostia, previously owned by the D.C. government, are now in the hands of the 1978-founded historic preservation group, known as the L’Enfant Trust. In the L’Enfant Trust’s newsletter, it was announced that the properties will soon be rehabilitated in accordance with legislation the D.C. Council passed in December 2017.
The newsletter further reports:
“1220 Maple View Place SE, the largest of the four properties, will be rezoned and reverted to its original design as a two-family dwelling. Construction on the three smaller houses at 1326 Valley Place SE, 1518 W Street SE, and 1648 U Street SE is anticipated to begin late summer or early fall of 2018 after stabilization, architectural planning, and permitting have been completed.
Once rehabilitation is finished, the five dwelling-units will be sold as Workforce Housing to qualified buyers earning at or below 120 percent of the Median Family Income, targeting teachers, nurses, firefighters, and employees of the District government.”
WAMU reported that the L’Enfant Trust has previously renovated two privately-owned historic homes in the Southeast neighborhood before. This news comes after nearly a year of what the Washington City Paper described as a “mind-boggling tango dance” between the D.C. Council and the Mayor Muriel Bowser administration. In November 2016, the Council voted to give initial approval to the permanent bill enabling the L’Enfant Trust to redevelop the vacant houses. Later, in response to locals’ concerns for how neighboring houses may be affected, the Council released a solicitation on the vacant properties, ordering Bowser’s administration to transfer the homes to the L’Enfant Trust no later than January 31, 2017.
In the District, there are roughly 1,500 vacant homes reported with 150 vacant lots and buildings owned by the D.C. government through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Property Acquisition and Disposition Division. According to WAMU, a majority of the D.C.-owned vacant lots, buildings, and homes are in Wards 7 and 8. At least seven are located in Anacostia’s historic district.
• Transfer of Vacant Properties in Historic Anacostia is Complete! [The L’Enfant Trust Newsletter]