Plans to redevelop several ailing housing projects near the U.S. Capitol into mixed-income communities are moving forward after most tenants agree to relocate voluntarily.
"Temple Courts, 10 blocks north of the U.S. Capitol, is next door to the notorious Sursum Corda housing project, part of a cluster of properties that developers saw as the next chapter in the District's gentrification story but that the city is intent on saving as affordable housing."
"When Adrian Fenty met with tenants a few weeks ago, he surprised the crowd of angry voices and frustrated faces -- as well as his own staff -- by giving the tenants a choice. They could stay put in their roach- , rat- and bedbug-infested building while the city hired a contractor to try to fix the problems around them. Or they could move out for a year while the building was rehabbed. Or they could leave for three or four years while Temple Courts was reduced to rubble and replaced by a mixed-income community where current residents would have a guaranteed place."
"The overwhelming majority in the room said Temple Courts was unsalvageable. They would take the vouchers and count on coming back to something entirely new and different. The bureaucrats exhaled in relief."