Mayor Bowser Cuts the Ribbon at Todd A. Lee Senior Residences at Kennedy Street — Ward 4’s Newest Senior Community
Washington, D.C. – On July 7, 2021 Mayor Muriel Bowser, the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency (DCHFA), and the project development team comprised of Dantes Partners, Gilbane Development Company and H Street Community Development Corporation (HSCDC) celebrated the opening of Todd A. Lee Senior Residences at Kennedy Street. The new community is named in honor of the late Todd A. Lee, DCHFA’s former Executive Director & CEO who passed away on January 1, 2020. Lee, a Ward 4 resident championed affordable housing throughout the District, recognized the need and advocated for senior housing.
“Todd’s innovative approach and tireless energy for finding affordable housing solutions for the District’s residents is sorely missed. He would be enthusiastic to welcome seniors to affordable new homes here on Kennedy street. It is fitting that this community is named in his honor and I share that enthusiasm as well,” said Mayor Bowser.
On February 14, 2020, DCHFA issued $8.2 million in tax exempt bonds and underwrote $5.6 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity for the acquisition and construction of the Todd A. Lee Senior Residences at Kennedy Street. The 100 percent affordable community is reserved for seniors age 55 or older and is located in the District’s Brightwood Park neighborhood. “This project was under review by DCHFA during Todd’s tenure and I know firsthand that he was excited about the opportunity it would afford seniors to age in place in this neighborhood that is undergoing tremendous change. The entire staff of DCHFA and I are proud to carry on Todd’s legacy and see the delivery of housing that is healthy, beautiful and affordable, while bearing the name of our dear friend, Todd A. Lee,” stated Christopher E. Donald, DCHFA Executive Director/CEO.
Dantes Partners, Gilbane Development Company, and HSCDC developed the five-story project. In addition, Buwa Binitie, Principal of Dantes Partners serves as the Chairman of DCHFA’s Board of Directors. “This development stands as a reminder of Todd’s legacy and his vision for Ward 4 and the District. It is with great honor to have completed one of his project goals and bestow the name of my friend and colleague upon it,” stated Binitie.
“Gilbane is honored to leave a legacy for Todd A Lee, which will memorialize his enduring leadership in the affordable housing industry,” said Blaise Rastello, development director for Gilbane Development Company. “Under Todd Lee’s and now Christopher Donald’s leadership, we are grateful for our partners at HFA, DHCD, Dantes Partners, and H Street CDC to create 38 affordable homes for the District’s seniors.”
The new senior community consists of 38 apartments all priced for residents earning 50 percent or less of the area median income (AMI). The property has one efficiency and 37 one-bedroom apartments. On the ground floor there is more than 1,000 square feet of retail space and an additional 1,700 square feet of common area space, to include a lobby, cyber café, management office, fitness center and bike storage. All of the units have individually controlled HVAC systems, environmentally friendly features that meet the Enterprise Green Communities Program, and there is a laundry facility on each floor.
Additional funding for the project came in the form of a $7.4 million loan from the DC Department of Housing and Community Development’s Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). The Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development also granted $150,000 to go toward the development of the ground floor retail space.
Through its Multifamily Lending and Neighborhood Investment and Capital Markets divisions, DCHFA issues tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds to lower the developers’ costs of acquiring, constructing and rehabilitating rental housing. The Agency offers private for-profit and non-profit developers low-cost predevelopment, construction and permanent financing that supports the new construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in the District.