Driving Affordable Housing Creation and Preservation in D.C.

Recent Capital One investments in Washington, D.C., will create more than 750 new units for low-income families and individuals

The nationwide affordable housing shortage has no easy solution. These challenges are especially acute in the D.C. area, which has one of the highest cost housing markets in the country. 

Data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows there is an estimated shortage of nearly 33,000 rental homes in D.C. that are affordable and available for extremely low income renters. Extremely low-income renters are those whose household incomes are less than either the federal poverty guideline or 30% of area median income (AMI). 

“As many parts of the housing ecosystem face pressures that impact the availability of affordable housing for households in need, it’s important to continue investing in affordable multifamily housing inventory, whether through new construction or preservation of existing housing,” says Desiree Francis, Head of Community Finance at Capital One. 

In response to these trends, the District of Columbia’s current administration set a housing goal in 2019 that calls for increased housing production and preservation with a focus on equitable and inclusive distribution of affordable housing across the District. 

Access to quality affordable housing can help catalyze opportunity and financial wellbeing among residents. That access is enabled in part by both public and private investments. 

One of the most significant ways Capital One supports affordable housing development is by providing capital in the form of debt and equity investments that finance properties–including through the federal low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program. 

Francis says that over the past 15 years, Capital One has seen firsthand the positive impact of the LIHTC program in effectively delivering affordable housing to market. The LIHTC program is a public-private partnership that leverages federal tax credits to produce affordable rental housing for communities.

Capital One also supports the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s mission-driven housing goals through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lending. Mission-driven affordable housing is typically defined as serving residents who earn 80% or less of AMI.

“The combination of our expertise and product suite — which includes, but is not limited to construction debt, LIHTC investment, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA financing — allows borrowers to meet their capital needs for a variety of deal structures,” Francis said. “In some cases, we also make incremental social purpose investments for wraparound services centered on residents’ needs.”

Recent Capital One investments supporting housing creation — more than $130 million in construction debt and more than $210 million in LIHTC equity investment — will bring over 750 new units to the D.C. metro area over the next several years. Capital One also provided Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financing that helps preserve long-term affordability of over 500 units of affordable housing in the area, which is equally important in addressing the housing crisis.

Carl F. West NCBA Estates will be a 179-unit affordable property serving seniors, built adjacent to Samuel J. Simmons NCBA Estates in Columbia Heights. It will set aside 36 units for grandfamilies and provide amenities for residents of both Carl F. West residents and Samuel J. Simmons NCBA Estates. 

Edgewood Commons V will provide a mix of units for residents earning up to 50% of AMI, including nearly 100 units set aside for residents earning up to 30% of AMI. Sixteen units will be reserved for permanent supportive housing. The development will also have space for resident services, including onsite healthcare. 

The Lisner-Louise-Dickson-Hurt Home will add 93 units of affordable housing to the existing property in the Friendship Heights neighborhood. The property will have 41 units reserved for households earning up to 50% of AMI and the rest for those earning at or below 30% of AMI. 

Marbella Apartments Site A (image below) was formerly a 31-unit apartment development in Arlington, Virginia, and the redevelopment will increase the number of units eightfold upon its completion to serve 230+ households earning up to 30%, 50% and 60% of AMI. The community will offer free resident Wi-Fi, modern amenities, energy efficiency, and a range of onsite resident-centered services.

Marbella Apartments Site A in Arlington, Virginia (Rendering courtesy of KGD Architecture)

Marbella Apartments Site A in Arlington, Virginia (Rendering courtesy of KGD Architecture)

Sligo Apartments (see top of page) will add nearly 100 new units of affordable housing to Silver Spring, Maryland, including several units that will be set aside for individuals with different physical capabilities. More than half the units will be restricted to households earning 50% AMI or below. 

“Our investments in safe, stable and affordable housing underscore Capital One’s goal of building thriving, inclusive communities,” says Francis. “We are committed to working with industry and policy stakeholders, developers and residents to identify and design solutions that not only enable more affordable housing, but also strengthen the communities in which we live, work and serve.”

Learn more about how Capital One is improving communities across the country with solutions that support affordable housing needs and goals.

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