Yesterday the US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the awarding
of $500 million in stimulus-money grants to housing authorities around the country, with the DC Housing Authority receiving the $9.5 million it requested
to help get the second phase of Capper townhomes at Capitol Quarter
In my post on DCHA's application back in June
, I explained it this way:
According to this "narrative and schedule" that DCHA included with its application to HUD, the money would finance both public infrastructure and private site improvements needed to begin the construction of the second phase of the Capitol Quarter mixed-income townhouse development (the blocks between Third and Fourth south of I), which will have 163 units, 47 of which are public housing rental units (along with 60 market-rate, 39 workforce-rate, and 17 public housing home ownership units). The narrative indicates that the $55 million Capper PILOT bonds approved by the city council last year that were to fund the new community center and infrastructure improvements not only in the Phase II blocks but also on the north and east sides of Canal Park and over to the DPW site never made it into the bond market; attempts to secure loans from both Fannie Mae and Wachovia also were fruitless.
There's a lot of detail in the narrative
that I'm not going to try to summarize (I start to glaze over once I get to Low Income Housing Tax Credits [LIHTC] and anything having to do with "leveraging"):, but it does say that if awarded the HUD CFRC grant money, DCHA would immediately have its engineers complete permit drawings, which can then be put into the city's permitting process (estimated to last 90 days), after which infrastructure work can begin--the schedule at the end of the document estimates a start date of Dec. 1. This work would include repair or replacement underground water, sewer, and "dry utilities" lines, new streets, curbs, and gutters, additional lighting, and public landscaping.
The HUD funds would also be used to pay for the land preparation costs and foundation construction of the 47 public housing units, covering a $1 million gap that occurred in the planned Phase II funding thanks to problems in the LIHTC market.
From what I understand, DCHA is already talking to contractors, with hopes of being able to start delivering the first phase 2 townhomes by late next year; this would be in the blocks between Third and Fourth south of I.
There may also be some money coming for the other Capper-related improvements listed above that were to be paid for by the $55 million PILOT bonds, but not as part of this grant.