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A previous version of this article incorrectly said that the Washington Housing Conservancy would convert 100 percent of the units in the Loree Grand into affordable housing. It will make 75 percent of them affordable housing. This version has been corrected.
A nonprofit has acquired a luxury apartment building in Northeast D.C. and plans to convert 75 percent of its units into affordable housing, financing the purchase in part with a loan from an Amazon housing fund.
The Washington Housing Conservancy purchased the 10-story, 212-unit Loree Grand apartment community for $71.5 million, with loans from Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund, EagleBank and the Washington Housing Initiative Impact Pool, an investment vehicle managed by developer JBG Smith.
The building, located at 250 K St. NE in NoMa, consists of studio, one- and two-bedroom units, almost all of which are market-rate apartments. According to its website, a new tenant can pay from $1,700 to $3,500 a month for a studio apartment.
WHC said the purchase enables it to stabilize rents for moderate-income workers and their families. The nonprofit will preserve for 99 years the Loree Grand’s existing 30 affordable units created under the city’s Inclusionary Zoning program. The city limits the rent on those units based on the renter’s income. WHC said it will create an additional 129 affordable units for residents earning up to 80 percent of the area median income and the remaining 53 units will be market-rate.
Such income limits are typical of workforce housing programs aimed at helping essential workers such as teachers, nurses and police officers. The area median income in D.C. in 2022 is $142,300, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
WHC said that no residents will be forced to vacate the property and that it will meet its affordability goals over several years through a combination of current residents, vacancies and turnover.
The acquisition is the latest financed by Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Amazon launched the fund in January 2021 with $2 billion and a goal of preserving and creating more than 20,000 affordable homes in and around Nashville, Seattle and Arlington, Va., where it is building its second headquarters.
Critics have complained that the fund has not done enough to help the poorest renters. As of April, it had spent about $750 million. The overwhelming majority of the money has gone to help people earning more than 50 percent of area median income, according to a Washington Post analysis of company data.
Amazon’s $2B housing push is mostly leaving out D.C. area’s poorest
Housing Equity Fund officials have said that Amazon alone can’t solve the affordable-housing crisis but can partner with governments. Amazon-funded deals have reportedly increased Arlington’s supply of affordable housing by 22 percent.
“With tremendous support from Amazon and its Housing Equity Fund and the Impact Pool, we are preserving long-term affordability in diverse, high opportunity neighborhoods under tremendous redevelopment pressure,” WHC Executive Director Kimberly Driggins said in a news release. “And we ensure that more middle-income earners — like first responders, hospitality workers, and teachers — are relieved of the rent burdens that make it hard to save money and build wealth for their future.”


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