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Jubilee Housing Celebrates First of Its Renovated Adams Morgan Apartment Buildings

By Anthony L. Harvey

Jubilee Housing celebrated another milestone in its ongoing and inspirational program of providing affordable housing and direct support services to 850 families and individuals–on the margins of poverty–in eight buildings and 284 apartments in Adams Morgan with the reopening of the Mozart Apartment Building on December 1, 2007. Along with the opening ceremony participants enjoyed a gala block party that had been co-sponsored by PNC Bank which had provided Jubilee with the final financing package for the project — a construction loan originally pledged by PNC’s predecessor, Riggs Bank.

The Mozart is the first of seven, handsome early 20th century apartment buildings which are being modernized and renovated — at an ambitious cost of only $20 million — to provide 21st century living accommodations for Jubilee’s client residents. The excitement of Jubilee tenants returning to their refurbished apartments was palpable even in the bitter cold of that December 1st day and even before the formal apartment tours began.

Close behind on Jubilee’s schedule are the Marietta and the Fuller, both expected to re-open next month, to be followed by the Ritz, work on which has now gotten underway. A second major phase will see the rehabilitation of three more buildings — the Euclid, the Sorrento, and Ontario Court. All Jubilee residents now in temporary and transitional housing will be able to move back to their previous buildings, according to Jubilee’s tirelessly active executive director Jim Knight.

Income eligibility for qualifying families and individuals to live in Jubilee’s affordable apartments is a standard of no more than 30 percent of the Washington Metropolitan area’s average median income, which is currently about $90,000. In addition to affordable rent income, Jubilee primarily finances this ingenious housing development program with low interest financing arranged by the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development using funding from the DC Housing Production Trust Fund, HUD’s Federal Home Investment Trust Fund, and the creative use of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit — in this case with the collaboration of the Enterprise Social Investment Corporation and Fannie Mae.

Jubilee and its Pinnacle Development Partners, together with the pro bono and below market rate work contributed by Hickok Cole Architects, the Structural Design Group, Global Engineering, and Linden Contracting, Inc. are making this entire historically and socially sensitive project financially and professionally possible. Community fundraising has been important as well and is continuing with roughly $500,000 being needed in 2008 to complete a $2.5 million grant and contribution budget amount for this $20 million dollar program.