Developer Buys Affordable Housing Complex in D.C....to Preserve It?

The Rose Green Cities Fund has purchased an affordable housing complex in a gentrifying area of D.C., not to capitalize on rising prices but to protect affordable ones. Unlikely, you say? The Fund's mission is to preserve affordable housing.
December 12, 2013, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Jonathan Rose, president and founder of the Rose company, said that because of the escalating costs of housing in the Washington area, he made it one of four markets in which to focus his efforts on building and preserving affordable housing," writes Jonathan O'Connell. "The others are Chicago, Newark and Connecticut’s Fairfield County."

The Rose Green Cities Fund's first venture in the D.C. market is the 223-unit Channel Square Apartments, near where luxury apartment buildings are rising in the burgeoning Southwest quadrant of the city. They've planned a number of energy and environmental upgrades for the complex.    

"In the long term, Rose said, 51 percent or more of the units would be set aside for families making below the area median income, although he said the exact formula has not been decided upon. 'There are already a number of families and lower-income households there. Our number one goal is to keep all of those families in the building,' Rose said."

"Can the developers make money if they renovate the building and keep most of the tenants in place?" asks O'Connell. "Rose said that the mission-oriented Green Cities Fund aims for a 8 to 12 percent return over a six-year period, a lower return than what many for-profit developers expect."

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Published on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 in The Washington Post
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