Leading affordable housing provider The NHP Foundation has secured redevelopment funds for its property Ridgecrest Village Apartments in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The deal includes $13.9 million in tax exempt bonds financed by JP Morgan Chase and the DC Housing Finance Agency, $16.8 million in federal funding and DC Low Income Housing Tax Credits, $16.13 million in Housing Production Trust Funds from the DC Department of Housing and Community Development, and $2 million in interim net operating income and deferred fees from NHPF.
The organization will redevelop 140 of 272 units at Ridgecrest, which it acquired in February 2019 in partnership with the Ridgecrest Tenant Association as part of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. As part of the partnership, NHPF, which has a total of seven TOPA properties in the District, committed to keeping rents low for current residents and providing the Ridgecrest TA with a minority ownership stake in the property.
“At a time when NOAH (Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing) is increasingly scarce, the redevelopment and preservation of Ridgecrest represents an important opportunity for the District,” said Dick Burns, CEO of NHPF. “We are taking an aging property, built in the 1950s, and replacing and updating it so that it can continue to operate sustainably and far more efficiently for at least the next 15 to 20 years.”
The Phase 1 redevelopment will involve six buildings on the southern half of the property. It anticipates an 18-month construction period, which will take place in three sub-phases of two buildings at a time. Residents will temporarily relocate to other units, mostly, if not all, on the Ridgecrest property, while each stage is under construction.
Improvements include replacing a central boiler system with an updated HVAC system, including new central air conditioning, installing new windows and adding insulation to make the property significantly more energy efficient. Interior pipes will be replaced to significantly reduce annual repair costs. Inside units, bathrooms will be updated and older kitchen cabinets, countertops and appliances will be replaced.
The property will include a mix of incomes ranging from 30 percent of Area Median Income to 80 percent of Area Median Income. No residents will be displaced. Current over-income residents will be allowed to remain, but when they eventually decide to move out, they will be replaced by residents who are at or below 80 percent AMI.
“Our investments and tools to preserve affordable housing, like Ridgecrest Village, can help District residents who exercise their TOPA rights remain rooted in their community,” said Interim DHCD Drew Hubbard. “We’re excited that his project creates new affordable units for families who may have had challenges in finding an affordable option suitable for them.”
Construction on Phase 1 began in early October. DHCD also recently announced financing for Ridgecrest Phase 2. NHPF expects additional design, permitting and District underwriting to take about a year, with construction beginning on the final 132 units in Phase 2 next fall.