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D.C. Funds Preservation, Renovation Of 336 Affordable Units In Southeast

The Park Southern apartment building at 800 Southern Ave. SE.

An affordable housing building on the D.C.-Maryland border will soon be renovated with new financing from the District government. 

The Department of Housing and Community Development announced Thursday it provided $20.2M in financing to renovate and preserve the affordability of 336 units at the Park Southern apartment building. 

The 358-unit building at 800 Southern Ave. SE also includes 22 market-rate units. The affordable units include 326 apartments designated for households with annual incomes between $44,100 and $79,600, plus 10 units for those making between $26,500 and $37,800. 

The property is owned by a joint venture of Vesta Corp. and Park Southern Residents Council Inc., which invoked the local Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act and brought on Vesta as a development partner. The owners received $19.7M from the Housing Production Trust Fund and a $530K grant from the Department of Behavioral Health as part of the deal. 

The HPTF, the District's main affordable housing vehicle, is set to receive another $100M-plus allocation for the coming fiscal year. The mayor had reduced the proposed funding level from $116M to $100M because of the pandemic's impact on city revenues, but the D.C. Council added $9M more in its version of the budget that received initial approval Tuesday. 

The Park Southern owners plan to renovate the units, install new plumbing and new roofing, and increase the building's energy efficiency. They aim to complete the renovations in spring 2023. 

“This agreement is the culmination of continuous engagement and participation among tenants, the developer and our team," DHCD Director Polly Donaldson said in a release. "This should serve as another example that tenants are an important voice in preserving affordable housing."