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DC's first multifamily passive house breaks ground

Transitional Housing Corporation began its retrofit of three buildings destined to become affordable housing in early October.

Kate Stritzinger, volunteer manager for THC, says that the buildings will be the first of its kind in the District, in that it is being built and will be certified as passive housing.
“The buildings are designed to be net-zero energy efficient,” she says, to reduce costs for the tenants and to serve as a model for similar multi-family housing.

The buildings, collectively called the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Commons, are situated on a triangular-shaped lot at the corner of Southern and Benning Roads. The addresses are 5010 Southern Avenue SE, 566 Benning Road SE and 578 Benning Road SE.
Each three-story building will contain 12 rental units, each about 675 square feet with two bedrooms. The project will be complete in May 2015.
“We are already getting calls about leasing,” says Stritzinger. Tenants will come via referrals from District agencies.
Of the total 36 rental units, 24 will be reserved for tenants making 60 percent or less of the area median income, which is $107,000 for a family of four. The remaining 12 units will be set aside for permanent supportive housing, priced for tenants making at or below 30 percent of the area median income.
“The latter tend to have intensive needs, like long-term mental or physical illness,” Stritzinger says. “They will have a case manager assigned to them.”
Transitional Housing Corporation is a non-profit whose goal is to end family homelessness by 2020. For this project, the corporation received a $500,000 capital grant over two years from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, towards the total development cost of $10.5 million. This is the corporation’s first partnership with that foundation.

Read more articles by Barbara Pash.

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