By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, [email protected]

On Nov. 27, District of Columbia leaders broke ground on the Residences at St. Elizabeths East, providing high-quality affordable housing units to the Congress Heights neighborhood in Ward 8.

For D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Ward 8 Council member Trayon White, this groundbreaking is more than just a way to celebrate new housing- but also proves as a step in the right direction for affordable housing units for District residents, particularly as gentrification continues to plague all eight wards.

Stan Jackson, president of Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilman Trayon White (D- Ward 8) and Mary Cuthbert, ANC 8C chair at the groundbreaking for the Residences at St. Elizabeths East on Nov. 27. (Courtesy Photo)

“Today, we are delivering on a commitment to build new, high-quality affordable housing in Ward 8,” said Mayor Bowser. “As we continue the transformation of the historic St. Elizabeths East campus, we remain focused on ensuring that longtime residents have the opportunity to enjoy and benefit from the housing and amenities that are coming to the area.”

“This is a project that I’m extremely proud of. The Residences at St. Elizabeth’s campus will bring housing options to people in the community that they can actually afford to live in,” White wrote on his Instagram.

The groundbreaking comes after the recent announcement of a $51 million affordable housing investment in Ward 8 delivered through the Housing Protection Trust Fund (HPTF) and other finance sources for fiscal year 2019.

Located at 1201 Oak Drive S.E., the Residences at St. Elizabeths East, is a 252-unit apartment community, with 202 affordable housing units.  Within the building will be one-, two-and three-bedroom apartments, and will include units for households earning up to 50 percent of the median family income (MFI) for a family of four, which is $58,600.

“The affordable units include 19 units available for 0 to 30 percent of the MFI and 183 units available for 31 to 50 percent of the MFI; another 50 units will be available at market rate,” according to a release from the Mayor’s office.

The apartment is adjacent to the new Entertainment and Sports Arena and amenities include a fitness center, clubroom, secured parking, a playground, recreational area and outdoor grilling area.

The Residences at St. Elizabeths East is a result of a collaboration between several District offices and initiatives including, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the D.C. Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA). Flaherty-Collins and the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation are the development partners for the new residences.