Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hey Anacostia -- you are getting 180 new units "affordable" housing! Aren't you happy?!

Now you see why I say the joke is on us. This stuff would be funny -- if I didn't live here.

This is a bunch of bullshit -- there I said it. I suppose this project is supposed to dovetail plans to bring low-income/"affordable"housing to the Big K Site.

Where the hell are my matches?

Housing Complex just posted the news. Go HERE to read more. 

"Gray's announcement, made this morning at a press briefing in Takoma, includes news of two specific investments. One, spearheaded by the Department of Housing and Community Development, is Metro Village, a five-story, 150-unit mixed-income project near the Takoma Metro station. Of those units, 120 will be reserved for households making under 60 percent of the area median income; the other 30 will be market rate. 
The second project is the Parkway Overlook, a sprawling ghost town of vacant apartments that used to house more than 1,000 low-income people south of Anacostia. The project, led by the D.C. Housing Finance Agency, willreportedly convert the complex into 180 units of affordable housing. I'm awaiting more details on the planned redevelopment."

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Anonymous said...

Any development is good development. Affordable housing is not the end of the world by any means. It brings a newer building into the fold in anacostia. Frankly I am glad that this is happening, cause we all know the "market rate apartments" arent exactly flying off the shelves.

The Advoc8te said...

I'm going to break my own comment policy and say this.

That has to be the most stupidest ass comment I have heard in a while.

If any development is good development why don't we just build a tent city and get it over with? How about a mega complex of crack houses and a subdvision of nothing but whore houses and meth clinics? Something is not always better than anything. Stop settling for scraps!!!

And where the hell are the "market rate" rentals you speak of? There aren't any in Ward 8. Everything is low income this or income capped that.

Stop repeating stupid stuff.

I'm sorry guys but the tomfoolery is really getting on my nerves.

Anonymous said...

I live in Anacostia and I feel defeated too. I don't know why we always have to be the dumping ground for the rest of the city. Homes can't get much cheaper than in Ward 8 -- why we need more of them I will never understand.

Time for a change said...

So it continues. Are the voices of Anacostia and Ward 8 in general being ignored? What will it seriously take for the city to understand these continuous projects will not “revitalize” the area?

Anonymous said...

Hey Advocate -

You haven't heard, their closing up housing projects in other areas of the city, they have to have somewhere for them to go.

Anonymous said...

I live I'm Henson ridge and will never be able to sell my house because it will be now surrounded section 8 ers. Worst decision I have ever made in my life buying property in ward 8. It's going to financially make me stuck in one spot for the rest for my life. Who would ever want to buy or rent my place if they are surrounded buy dudes who want to intimidate you as you walk to the mail box or people who steal packages from your front porch ( happened to me this week). I'M DONE.

The Advoc8te said...

@Henson Ridge Anonymous:

You are welcome to join me in my crying session. :(

I hate feeling this helpless. I feel like my house is on fire and I keep yelling for water and people keep handing me gasoline. :(

Get It Right said...

As someone who whines all day long about the geo-location of news stories -- the Overlook is more so in Congress Heights / Ft. Stanton area than Anacostia.

Get it right.

Anonymous said...

Attacking a commenter for stating his/her opinion?

"Comment policy is simple:

No hate speech
No personal attacks
No spam

If you can't articulate your point without violating the above then this is not the place for you."

Before we start making generalizations about affordable housing and the "intimidating" people that supposedly live there, maybe we should all take a deeper look into these projects and what potential they bring.

Longtime reader, home-owner/investor in congress heights and thoroughly disgusted by this post, the commenters, and blogger.

The Advoc8te said...


"Longtime reader, home-owner/investor in congress heights and thoroughly disgusted by this post, the commenters, and blogger."

Then perhaps this is not the blog for you -- or better still start one of your own.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a new affordable project is being built where there is currently a vacant complex. Would you rather have a vacant complex which could be a magnet for crime and problems or a new development that just happens to be affordable?? For the record "affordable" is NOT the same as Section 8. Affordable means it's housing for people just starting out working and aren't yet earning enough to afford the luxury high rises in the city. There are income maximums but there are also income MINIMUMS you must meet to live in those units i.e. you must have a job.

Yes, it is unfortunately that the bulk of these units are in Wards 7 and 8 however there are several affordable projects being built all over the DC metro area including a new affordable development right near downtown and the NoMa station.

scrappy said...

I have to co-sign Anonymoys @9:38, "affordable housing" in DC is usually 50-60% of AMI, meaning people who are making around $60,000/year. These are not housing projects, there is a HUGE difference between "affordable" and "low income" in the modern DC real estate market. Those units will be filled with professionals. And hopefully St. E's will provide a pathway to the Congress Heights station, which will bring lots of foot traffic past the proposed retail that's supposed to come to St. E's.

I know a lot of people have suffered through the hard years of lack of development east of the river, but this is a "glass is half full" situation. Once you have a critical mass of professionals bringing up the area median income, more market rate projects will follow, trust me (as someone who has constantly been forced to move south and east in my 20 years in this city, due to rising cost of living as the gentrification wave crested).

Anonymous said...


I am dissapointed about your comment regarding stupid a** remark etc. I thought you were a more discplined blogger than that. You do whine about the affordable housing coming and like one of the readers mentioned in there comment above. Affordable housing and section 8 are completely different. Please stop looking at your failed decision to purchase a condo in congress heights (thats questionable in itself) vs looking at the district to reinvestment and bring some BETTER housing options even if they are affordable.

The Advoc8te said...

I am sorry you are "disappointed" I am frustrated, and tired, and frustrated, and tired and anyone who tries and tell me I should be grateful for "anything" really must not know me. I don't know why we are always telling Black people and poor people "you should be satisfied for what you get."

Who says that? I want me, my neighbor, and the person living on a voucher to be able to walk to a grocery store, buy some healthy food, walk there kids to school and feel safe, have some options on where to do some fun things, go to a drug store in walking or bus distance. Most importantly I want that person on a voucher to be able to work where they live!

For the record I think people here are confusing negative comments about Section 8 tenants (which are really Housing Voucher Choice) made my other commenters and my comments. If you are mad about those comments please direct that anger at the person who made them.

While I don't think you should concentrate any income bracket together and keep them away from options and services my point has always been the concentration of group homes and transitional facilities in Ward 8 when disadvantaged and unemployed people should be the closest to resources -- not the farthest away. Unemployed people should be the closest to jobs and until DC or the business community feels fit to move those jobs into Ward 8 then our people have to leave the Ward and come home to no jobs -- thats crazy. People -- particularly "poor" people (of which I am one) should be close to opportunities and should be close to jobs. I don't hate "affordable" housing -- I just wish it came with some JOBS, a grocery store, and some amneties for the people living here now. Why do those things have to come AFTER the people who live here now have to leave? That is crazy to me and that is where my frustration is coming from. So when I hear someone tell me and my neighbors (who are not that high on the income bracket) that we "should be happy with you get" you are darn right I am going to call that a "stupid ass comment." It was. It was also self hating.

Poor people deserve more than scraps.
Black people deserve more than scraps
Ward 8 deserves more than scraps.

And I want them to get everything they want and more!


Anonymous said...

Nikki, your comment saying this isnt the right blog for me is duly noted. I visit this site to get updates, but if this, and the negative reader comments are the type of stuff this blog supports then I wont support it.

In a blog where you state your opinion, it's a shame you cant respect others. When you are done playing City Planner, please take a moment and do some research about what is really best for "poor people". I think most of the people with the negative comments may realize they are well within the limits to qualify as low-income, or "poor" as you call it.

The Advoc8te said...

@Anonymous 8:44pm

I am pointing out the obvious no one is forced to read this blog. I would LOVE to see someone else take up the mantle and write from their perspective. I have never said I am the "end all" and be all. This blog has always been written from my perspective -- one of many.

That being said, if you are going to try and retell my comments I wish you would get it right. I said in an earlier post when I asked readers to share what they really want in their communities that there is this fear of being called a "rich gentrifier" that is keeping them from speaking out. I knew that was bound to come when I wrote the piece so this is not so shocking. The very same fear that keeps us silent (poor and poor alike) about what we need in Ward 8 (jobs, amneties, stores, retail, transportation, and diverse housing) is what keeps us without those things and keeps our residents without the financial and political capital needed to make sure their needs are heard and acted upon.

But enough of that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. :)

I do have a question though. If the current "plan" is working -- what has been happening for decades east of the river -- why do we still have such a high unemployment rate? Why are the income levels so low? Why are people still struggling to get the basic services that west of the river takes for granted? Why does this negative perception about Ward 8 still exist?

If the the status quo is working please show me where it is because I don't see it over here. If I am the definition of "rich" -- and I am almost 200k in debt counting my mortgage then we really have a serious problem over here. BTW -- just because I am working now don't forget I was unemployed for 18 months after I first moved here. The Advoc8te knows the struggle because she has (and is still) living it.

My point -- and that what I am interpreting from most reader comments -- is that they would like to see a balance in Ward 8. They want to see some amneties and JOBS to go with these new housing projects. The "poor" that you are advocating for are getting pushed out -- they are getting "pushed out" of those west of the river neighborhoods that are seeing all of this development and they are getting pushed right into Ward 8 where we don't have the jobs or the resources right now.

In the six years I have lived here in Ward 8 I can think of only one large scale business over here that has opened that has been able (at least in theory) to provide jobs for local residents and that is the GIANT on Alabama Avenue.

Can you imagine that? In SIX years in Ward 8 the only new large scale employer that has come to the Ward with a 25% unemployment rate came here in 2007. There has been nothing since. Yet, we can look west of the river and see the cranes breaking ground for this and that project. Two Walmarts are about to open in a few weeks (way faster than Skyland is moving along by the way) and you have more grocery stores popping up in west of the river neighborhoods than you can shake a stick at and with them more JOBS. You have new restaurants opening west of the river weekly and with them -- new jobs. DC is working overtime to woo new businesses to the district -- unfortunately none of those businesses have managed to settle east of the river yet. Have you ever asked yourself "why?"

I'm telling you why -- those companies say they want to go where the money is and right now without jobs we don't have the money and so the cycle continues. We get more low-income housing but not the jobs to raise people up.

The Advoc8te said...

If EotR is being treated fairly why are we not getting businesses that can bring our community much needed jobs? Why does every announcement EotR surround only new low income rental or transitional housing? Where do you expect those low income people to work? Clearly not here in Ward 8. Don't you think the people who live here deserve jobs here?

So instead of being disappointed at me and the "disrespect" you feel other commenters are giving "the poor" (of which we all qualify) maybe you should turn that disappointment at DC's leadership who still don't see Ward 8's unemployment problem as a serious DC problem. If they did, I have a feeling we would be first in line for new employment and development projects and not the last.

Unless of course, what has been happening all these years has been working. And if that is the case I suppose I should just shut this blog down right now and call it a day.

Anonymous said...

@TheAdvoc8te -

I'm new to this blog and honestly I think your attitude is part of the problem and an example of why this blog doesn't have the same readership level as something like Prince of Petworth. The second anyone posts their opinion as a comment you jump down their throat if you don't agree with their position. The aggressive nature of your posts and comments only serve to turn people off.

Yes, it is unfortunate that there hasn't been more development EoTR. However, part of it is up to the citizens to mobilize. However, that is something that is more likely to be done by a younger generation which isn't as dominate in Wards 7&8. However, having affordable housing, which seeks out young professions (NOT voucher-holding tenants) you're increasing the number of young people in an area that are going to want the same amenities that can be found elsewhere in the District. Maybe if you attract more teachers and nurses (the people that affordable housing seeks to attract) they will make more demands from the city for amenities, which in turn will bring more jobs and more market rate apartments.

Frankly, your comments make it sound like you'd rather be angry at the lack of development and play the victim while attacking people than actually get out and make people WANT to join your cause.

The Advoc8te said...

@Anonymous 11:20am

Everyone is entitled to their opinions but I have been living in Ward 8 for over six years and writing CHotR for over 5 years. If I started a blog to compete with Prince of Petworth (a very nice guy by the way) I would have closed it a long time ago. LOL.

Now per this comment: "However, part of it is up to the citizens to mobilize."

Why would you assume the residents here aren't mobilizing? One thing Ward 8 is not short of are passionate, hard working people. They are a fierce bunch but even they can not do everyone alone.

Then again, like you said, "you are new to this blog." :)

Have a good day!

The Advoc8te said...


Meant to say "can not do everything alone." The other way sounded un family friendly. LOL! :)

Anonymous said...

Good afternoon Advocate –

I just wanted to come on and thank you for continuing to discuss East of The River (EOTR). I have been reading you blog for several years and your blog coincides with the history of things that I have been excited and disappointed about since becoming a homeowner in Congress Heights. Whether it’s something you like or dislike I have been able to come to your blog and find out about it.

Over the years I would like to thank you for reporting on ANC meetings that I myself and a lot of other folks do not attend; informing us about events that are happening EOTR; reporting on new businesses, old business, revived business, all business; education opportunities; job opportunities; housing opportunities; shabby housing construction; shady management companies; the actual people that are running for spots on our ANC’s and what they do with their budgets; the influx of group homes, shelters and every other service program someone can fill a empty building up with; new housing developments, old housing development, the always about to be finished developments; just everything. This blog has been my one stop shop in a sense when it comes to EOTR so thank you.

You do not have to run for public office to voice your opinion, when you are a advocate for a community you are all the time and not just when it comes with a part time six figure gig (although this would be nice). Your blog has been doing a very good job of keeping the constituents of ward 7 and 8 informed whether they agree with your opinion or not. I have surely heard rather read your thoughts more than our voted in representatives. Please do not even phantom the thought of negative comments about the state of development EOTR being from people “well within the limits to qualify as low-income or poor” the mindset of someone to even believe that. Everyone will have their opinion; some people are for more affordable housing some are not. You are just discussing the things that many of us are discussing with our fellow homeowners or with ourselves, so thank you.

The Advoc8te said...

@Anonymous 6:24pm

Wow! That was probably one of the nicest comments I have ever read on this blog in the 5+ years I have been writing it. I can't thank you enough for your kind words and for your attention, time, and consideration in following CHotR all these years.

It doesn't matter how high the traffic numbers for CHotR get it still surprises me when people tell me they read this thing. I still feel so honored (and shocked) when people tell me they read CHotR every day -- that's a lot of responsibility. I take this really seriously because I know that you guys can be doing other things with your day.

At first I started CHotR as a way to spread the word about the great things in Ward 8 -- things I thought other people should know. Then I started to include my personal experiences and people seemed to relate to that and then as time went on and I became more comfortable with myself as a resident, and a blogger, and I suppose a community advocate. In the end all I can do is tell the truth -- my truth and just accept it for what it is.

To do anything less in my mind would be letting you guys down because like you said --agree with me or not I know these are things we are talking about. I'm just lucky (or unlucky depending on who you ask) to say them publicly.

Thank you again for such a thoughtful comment. If we haven't met before in person I hope we do soon! I wish I had a name instead of just Anonymous. :)

Thank you so much! Truly!

The Advoc8te
Just another Ward 8 resident trying to make it through the day. :)