On July 16, the District’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) plans to hold a public hearing on the proposed redevelopment of nine D.C.-owned vacant sites into affordable housing. The sites were auctioned in May through DHCD’s “Vacant to Vibrant” initiative to sell off surplus land owned by the D.C. government and reduce blight.
Currently, five of the sites are single-family homes and four are unimproved lots, according to records from Alex Cooper Auctioneers, the regional firm that conducted the auction. The sites are spread across the city: Four are in Northwest, three in Northeast, one in Southwest, and one in Southeast. Altogether, they went under contract with private developers for over $3.3 million. The individual prices ranged from $86,625 for an unimproved lot in Deanwood to $756,000 for a single-family home in Columbia Heights, and the average price was about $375,000. (The District still holds the title to the properties since the sales remain pending.)
The July 16 meeting will be “conducted to ensure that all citizens are informed about the selling of the properties,” DHCD says in a release. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the agency’s offices at 1800 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE. The sites’ basic information follows below.
The Vacant to Vibrant initiative was launched in late 2017 to expedite the redevelopment of dozens of properties held in a portfolio managed by DHCD. The new homes created will be dedicated for families earning at or below 120 percent of the median family income, which equals about $145,000 a year for a family of four in the D.C. area today, per official figures. That threshold is commonly considered “workforce housing” and targeted at civil servants.
Last year, more than 30 city-owned sites were auctioned with the goal of producing roughly 50 units of workforce housing, says DHCD. Winning bids are subject to D.C. Council review.