Economic Development

Goal

Through its economic development program, CARECEN has sought to protect the diverse social and cultural fabric of our neighborhoods while promoting wealth creation, self-sufficiency and economic stability for low and moderate income families. CARECEN continues to achieve this goal by integrating financial education and technical assistance with advocacy on behalf of the preservation of affordable housing.

Background

Over the past fifteen years, concerted policies of development in Washington, D.C. have resulted in rapid gentrification in a number of areas, particularly in Northwest. This trend has fueled rapid displacement of low and moderate income residents from neighborhoods including those north and east of Dupont Circle and extending to Brightwood and Brookland. The result has been a dramatic depletion in the stock of affordable housing in what were historically the city’s most racially and economically diverse neighborhoods including Adams Morgan, Shaw and Columbia Heights, Petworth, and Brightwood.


Contributing to the Solution

CARECEN has served as development consultant for the rehabilitation of affordable housing in Wards 1 and 4 in the District, where by law low-income tenants can exercise their first right of refusal and make an offer to purchase the building through their tenant association. CARECEN assisted in the conversion of 1460-1464 Columbia Road into 9 affordable housing units and CARECEN offices, the development of Randolph Towers into 146 units for conversion into affordable condominiums, and the financing of a development project at 3121 Mount Pleasant to create affordable housing for 18 low income families.

CARECEN’s Ongoing Advocacy

The diversity of our city is directly related to the affordability and availability of housing. Through our Housing Services program [link], CARECEN organizes community members to speak out on behalf of affordable housing, educates tenants about their rights, and promotes homeownership through individual counseling and educational workshops. This advocacy model is designed to prevent displacement and preserve the social fabric of neighborhoods in the city.