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Mayor Bowser Announces First Affordable Housing Projects Supported by Oramenta Newsome Predevelopment Loan Program

Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Loan program named for housing advocate supports projects to build and preserve affordable housing

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has closed initial loans for two affordable housing projects in Ward 1 funded by the Oramenta Newsome Predevelopment Loan Program. The program, named in honor of Oramenta Newsome, a key advocate for affordable housing in the District who passed away in February 2018, provides nonprofit developers and housing cooperatives access to capital for predevelopment costs.

“We know that it’s going to take an all-out, all-of-the-above approach to build and preserve more affordable housing across our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Bowser. “Supporting nonprofits through the Oramenta Newsome Predevelopment Loan Program is another way we’re working to create housing that will enable more residents to afford to live in the District.”

Mayor Bowser established the program in Spring 2018 with $1 million in funding from the Housing Production Trust Fund and $1 million from DC Housing Finance Agency. Funding from the program became available in June 2018.

“Oramenta Newsome was ahead of her time in creating pioneering affordable housing financing opportunities,” said DHCD Director Polly Donaldson. “To see the results, of this innovative fund named in her honor, come to fruition, makes me excited to further Mayor Bowser’s bold housing goals. This is another tool in our kit that shows the preservation and production of affordable housing is a duty we will ardently uphold.”

Jubilee Housing, a faith-based nonprofit affordable housing developer, received financing from the program to cover a portion of the expense of architectural fees and other predevelopment costs for two affordable housing projects – one located at 1460 Euclid Street, NW, and the other at 1724 Kalorama Road, NW. Each project received $100,000 from the program.

The tenants at 1460 Euclid Street, NW assigned their purchase rights under the District’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) to Jubilee Housing in order to preserve 25 units of affordable housing in Columbia Heights.

The property at 1724 Kalorama Road, NW is a vacant commercial building comprised of 22,000 square feet that will be renovated into a five-story mixed-use building offering 25 units of affordable housing and a ground floor arts space.

“Jubilee Housing is honored to be the first recipient of the Oramenta Newsome Predevelopment Loan Program,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Knight. “The preservation and development of affordable housing in Ward 1 is more important now than ever.”

Eligible non-profit housing developers are encouraged to apply. Applicants can submit requests for funding at any time, subject to availability of funds.