New Housing Complex for D.C. Homeless; Bethesda Property Wins LEED Silver

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor The first of three housing complexes for homeless people planned by the District government was inaugurated last week by Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Starting next month, the Mississippi Avenue [...]

The first of three housing complexes for homeless people planned by the District government was inaugurated last week by Mayor Vincent Gray and other city officials during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Starting next month, the Mississippi Avenue Apartments will accommodate 14 families and five individuals who at the moment are staying in city shelters, reported The Washington Post. Four units have been designed for disabled people.

Reportedly, the building in Congress Heights used to be a police station, but in the last 20 years it has been left vacant. It was then renovated and improved, with the help of a community revitalization program called Congress Heights Main Street. Community of Hope, a local nonprofit group led by executive director Kelly McShane, will provide on-site social services for the residents, helping them find jobs and increase their income, according to The Post. Rents will be partly subsidized by the D.C. Housing Authority, but residents are expected to pay 30 percent of their income once they move in–or if they don’t have an income, start paying their share as soon as they find employment.

In commercial real estate news, the first LEED Silver certification was awarded to a Bethesda property, according to Citybizlist. Owned by Clark Enterprises and managed by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., the 16-story office building was recently renovated so as to be compliant with USGBC energy-efficiency and sustainability requirements. Improvements include using lamps with the lowest possible mercury content, establishing a biannual e-waste recycling program for tenants, implementing use of water treatment controllers and upgrading the eight elevators to variable frequency drives.