Sunday, October 2, 2016

Saving Historic Homes in Anacostia

Art of War Concept: In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy’s country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it.

Earlier this summer, residents in the Anacostia Historic District participated in a roundtable hearing regarding development plans in our neighborhood. One of the things that came out of the hearing was legislation introduced by Councilmember Phil Mendelson. The legislation called for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to transfer ownership of 4 historic properties in its inventory to the L'Enfant Trust, a local non-profit that specializes in historic property restoration.

This legislation is a win-win for the District and the Anacostia Historic District for these reasons.

1. DHCD does not have the capacity in-house on how to rehab these properties
2. The L’Enfant Trust has proven they have the resources and capability to rehab distressed properties
3. If these properties are rehabbed it will bring more home ownership to the neighborhood
4. It will cost $300-$500K to rehab each house. It is too expensive for the City, but doable for the L’Enfant Trust if given the properties.
5. This will add to the tax base generated for the City

I could go on-and-on why this is a good. These properties are in such bad shape that one good snow or rainstorm could wipe them out. We have to act NOW!

1220 Maple View
This house used to be owned by the superintendent of the St Elizabeths Campus
History in our community...

1326 Valley PL
Would you like to live next to this house?
I did not think so...

1518 W St. 
Do you notice the graffiti? This would not happen if there was a homeowner inside

1648 U St
This property has been owned by the City for 10+ years
and its been in same condition

If you support this effort, please send the following email to the email addresses listed.

Dear Councilmember,
My name is ____, a resident in the Anacostia Historic District. I am writing to request your support for the Historic Preservation of Derelict District Properties Act of 2016 introduced by Council Chair Mendelson.

Over the years our neighborhood has lost many historic structures due to neglect by absentee owners. The properties outlined in this legislation are owned by the District Government and currently represent an eyesore in our community that attract trash, crime and other negative behavior.

The L’Enfant Trust has down outstanding work rehabbing historic properties in our neighborhood. Transferring these houses to them will ensure that they are given the proper attention and restored to their historic glory.

This is also a “win” for the city because rehabbing these properties for homeowners will increase the tax base while also lowering crime and beautifying our neighborhood.

I thank you for your consideration and support of the Anacostia Historic District.

INSERT YOUR NAME,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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