Not surprisingly, the Washington Beech community has been dreaming of a redevelopment for years -- one that would both increase the number of affordable housing options and knit the development more effectively into the greater fabric of its surrounding community.
Thanks to a $10 million stimulus award coupled with a $20 million Housing and Urban Development grant, the dream is finally on the way to becoming a reality.
"The Washington Beech residents and BHA staff have been working together for a
The funding will enable the Housing Authority to demolish the existing 266 units and replace them with 342 new affordable housing opportunities, 206 onsite and 136 offsite. The redevelopment plan includes 15 newly constructed affordable homes for purchase and a first-time homebuyer assistance program.
"It's a welcome change for so many people," says Meena Carr, a resident of the development. "It will improve the quality of life for the residents," she adds.
According to Agro, a major factor in the success of any major public housing
"One of the really special things about Washington Beech is the degree to which the resident community has been active in defining the kind of healthy community they want to come back to once the site is rebuilt," says Agro. " So in addition to beautiful new housing, residents have organized and campaigned to ensure that the new Washington Beech is a safe, welcoming place where residents are actively engaged, where significant social services and wellness activities are available, and where residents can live in smoke-free units."